Barcelona defender, Dani Alves, says his side are in their best form of the season and want to end their recent run against Atletico Madrid.
Both sides have met each other three times already this season - twice in Supercopa and once in La Liga – but all three games ended in a draw.
But Alves insists, the previous games against their Spanish rivals won’t count when they meet in the Champions League quarter-final, with the first-leg tonight at Camp Nou.
“We can’t look back. It’s another game, another competition, another day. We have to take a step forward here, because the tie will be decided in the second leg,” he said.
“We have to compete well and put an end to our run against Atlético.
“We always have to dance with the ugliest girl (laughter).
“We’ve been drawn against an awkward opponent and we accept that challenge. These games are what we’re here for.”
Barcelona won their game against Espanyol through another controversial penalty, converted by Lionel Messi, and the Brazilian seems to be tired of the endless discussion whether the Blaugrana are favoured by the referees.
“It’s unbelievable. (In the Clásico at the Santiago Bernabéu) there were two, stone-wall penalties and another that wasn’t a penalty, and people talk about the two that were,” he continued.
“It seems like it’s part of our lives.
“It’s a tradition to say that we get help. If we win, it’s because of the referees and if we lose, it’s because it’s the end of an era.
“We are above that and it doesn’t affect us.”
The outspoken 30-year-old has also laughed off claims that this is the ‘worst Barcelona in many years’.
“Five years ago this team was in chaos and fifteen days ago we had lost a match and it seemed like a disaster. And we’ve turned it round when it seemed like the end of the world,” Alves added.
“Recently, Barça had lost the league title and a week later Madrid have been written off.
“I’m in favour of freedom of expression, but you have to be objective in your opinions.”
Barcelona have responded to their mini-crisis in the beginning of March by winning the last five games in a row, and Alves believes they enter the Champions League tie in their best form of the season.
“We’re coming into it in better shape than last year. We’ve been a bit up and down in some competitions, but the team’s morale is very high.
“We’re in our best form of the season. It’s all decided in a month and we have to make one final push,” he concluded.
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