Jose Manuel Pinto has mused on the ‘opportunity to grow’ that is deputising for Victor Valdes, as he makes clear he isn’t focused on a possible new contract.
Out of contract next summer, the veteran is facing an extended run in the Barcelona first team due to Valdes’ calf injury, continuing with the fifth matchday of the Champions League group stage tonight at Ajax.
“Victor is the most in-form goalkeeper around and it’s a challenge to take his place,” Pinto has considered pre-game.
“But it’s a challenge I welcome and I’m using it as an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally.
“At the moment we have not discussed anything [about my contract]. While I am fine, I want to continue playing. I am not focused on what will happen tomorrow.
“Is this a chance for me to prove my worth? I’m just taking it as a reward for all my hard work, my commitment to training and all that effort, I have nothing to prove and don’t feel like I’m being observed.
“As long as I feel like I have my form, as I do at the moment, then I want to carry on playing football and renewing my contract.
“I like to take each day as it comes, and right now what I have to do is work.
“Ever since I have been at Barcelona, my contract has renewed itself, and that’s always been because of my hard work, and staying focused.”
The 38-year-old reflected also on tonight’s meeting.
“All matches are special, in the Champions League, League, Cup or UEFA Cup. I was fortunate to play in this competition with Celta also, against Ajax too.
“For me, every game is important and I try to do my best, which is to play.
“Specific dangers? Against any team in the Champions League it is dangerous only to think about one player.
“If they’re playing in Europe, it’s because they have lots of quality players.”