Barcelona defender Jordi Alba has hailed Atletico Madrid as an example to “all” clubs for the unity they showed in reaching the Champions League final.
Atleti eliminated Barca from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage before inflicting the same misery on Bayern Munich, but Alba was in no mood to speak bitterly about his side’s exit as he praised Los Colchoneros for their togetherness.
“Every team goes through slumps,” he said at a promotional event on Wednesday, Marca reports.
“For us, we played at a very difficult time. Even so, we’re with a chance of winning two trophies.
“You can’t always win all three. In fact, no-one has done so twice in a row in history.
“We know a club like Barcelona are always under pressure [to win things]. This season will be amazing if we win trophies.
“What’s happened has already been forgotten. There was tension, but it’s even a good thing that it existed on the pitch and we have two finals against Espanyol and Granada.
“It’s great, the work Atletico are doing. I’ve congratulated them. They’re a wonderful team.
“We should all see ourselves in them for how close they are [as a unit].
“In a hypothetical final, I’ll give my answer [after Real Madrid’s tie]. I guess you already know what I want to happen…
“We had a very good lead [in La Liga], but none of us said the League was won.
“Still, all teams go through slumps and now we can’t not win the League.
“[On Xavi Hernandez’s opinion of Atleti], everyone has their opinion, and I’d go to death with Xavi.
“He gave me life with both Barca and the national team, but for me, all styles are worthy.
“[On Real Madrid in the Champions League], as a Barca man, you know what I’d want.
“Still, if I win two trophies, I couldn’t care less what the others do. I’d be happy with those two trophies. They’d be incredible.
“We don’t fear another ‘Tamudazo’. With our fans, hopefully we can go forward.
“We honestly never thought the League was won. It’s very tight, but we still depend on ourselves. It won’t be decide until the end of the season.
“[The fans] are always with the team in big games. [Making them happy is] an added incentive for us."
“[Espanyol] would play with the same desire, even if they weren’t playing for safety.
“We’ll try to win and be at our best. In order to win the League, we have to win both our remaining games.”