Barcelona coach, Gerardo Martino, has insisted the recent off-pitch drama won’t influence his players for the season run-in, in which he expects both Lionel Messi and Neymar to be decisive.
The Catalan giants have been banned from the transfer market by FIFA for breaking rules in relation with ten non-Spanish minors, but Martino says he only wants to focus on the next game and leaves the talking to the club's authorities.
“It's a lot easier for the players to just think about football, because that's our job,” Martino said.
“We're informed, but our focus is on the game against Betis, because it's the most important thing.
“The club's authorities have spoken about the problem. I don't want to get caught up in negative thoughts before next season.
“For a side that has 12 games ahead and the possibility of securing three titles, it is important to not alter the course the marked objectives.”
Apart from all distraction, Barcelona also have to replace the injured Victor Valdes and Gerard Pique, but Martino remains confident his side can catch log leaders, Atletico Madrid, whom they still face in the last game of the season
"There's no valid excuses, injuries or off the pitch,” the Argentine continued.
“If we win, we will have had a good season and if we lose, no. Nothing else interests us.
“We accept the problems as part of daily life at Barça. It isn't a different panoramic than what we'd had all year.
“The season is tough, but for everyone. Injuries make it difficult and sometimes they have a bigger repercussion depending on who it is.
“We accept things as they come. Only three sides in Europe have things in their own hands to win three competitions, and we're one of them.”
When the Barcelona boss was asked to compare Lionel Messi and Neymar, the 51-year-old responded he feels lucky both are part of his squad and will show their qualities in the season run-in.
“The big difference between them is the time that Leo has spent in Europe. He, also, became a player here,” he added.
“The big coincidence is that they're two extraordinary footballers. They're also footballers who are decisive. There are very few like them.
“They're both at the top level. In 30 days they can do something marvellous. We are lucky that Barcelona has both of them.”
Will the new off-pitch drama interrupt Barcelona’s recent La Liga form? Have your say in the comment section below.