Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri rejects the suggestion Barcelona are in crisis as their La Liga lead slips and they lose in the Champions League.
Ranieri, a veteran of the Primera from his time at Valencia and Atletico Madrid, has taken the Foxes to a shock lead at the top of the Premier League and spoke to Sport, with La Blaugrana up for discussion.
“I don’t know [the situation] in depth but you can’t doubt Barca. How can you doubt a team that won it all last year? They have an extraordinary team,” the Italian noted.
“You’re talking about a team that won it all last season and not long ago people were saying were an example for everyone. Things don’t end so quickly. Crisis? Losing to Real Madrid or Real Sociedad isn’t a crisis.
“The Champions League? Atletico also have a great team with a lot of spirit. They were able to win. That’s all.
“All teams go through spells of bad games and results in a season. The problem is Barca’s happened at the worst time, when approaching the decisive time for trophies.
“And what’s also been shown is that the Madrid clubs were not as bad as was said. They’re not far off. They’ve also had bad times and when it’s happened to Barca, they’ve managed to be there.”
It was put to Ranieri that perhaps Barcelona rely too heavily on the front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
“Messi is a player out of the ordinary. He’s extraordinary because he can do everything right and in any situation at any time. But the players are men, not machines. If your side has Suarez and Neymar it’s normal they stand out,” he countered.
“They have to keep calm and keep thinking what they’ve been thinking. If you have an idea that has given you results, it will do so again. If that doesn’t happen, then change.
“Barca are top, so they depend on themselves. They have pressure but also a lead. You have to manage it.”