BARCELONA DESPERATE TO MAKE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HISTORY - INIESTABy quadrihatic 12:49 Sat, 05 Sep 2015 Comments
The midfielder won his fourth medal in Europe's elite
club competition last year and is hopeful that a fifth
is a realistic prospect in 2015-16
Andres Iniesta is confident that Barcelona can
make history by becoming the first team to defend
the Champions League this season.
The Catalans enjoyed a brilliant first season under
Luis Enrique, sealing a historic treble with the 3-1
win over Juventus in Mayâ€™s Berlin final.
No side has ever successfully retained Europeâ€™s
elite club competition in its current form, although
Barca did win two in the space of three years with
their 2009 and 2011 successes.
Iniesta is aware that history suggests Barca will be
unsuccessful in their bid to defend the crown, but
hopes the quality of their squad will give them every
chance in 2015-16.
â€œIt is challenging and very difficult, but we have that
goal in our mind,â€ the Camp Nou skipper, 31, told
â€œRetaining the Champions League has not been
done any club. But we have already been knocking
on the door of reaching consecutive finals before
and we will try again. Winning teams and players
have to return to fight for everything.
â€œWe always aspire to achieve the maximum and
this year is no exception, although the difference
between winning and losing is often very close.
After what we put in last season and the whole
experience, I think this has to be another great
â€œI think we should be always optimistic, believing in
ourselves and our colleagues. For me, my team and
my team-mates are the best and you have to fight
for every title.â€
In an incredible career, Iniesta has already won four
Champions League titles and the midfielder says
that tally has already surpassed his wildest
expectations ahead of this campaign's group stage
clashes with Roma, Bayer Leverkusen and BATE.
â€œOn a personal level it is incredible,â€ he said.
â€œEverything we have achieved is impossible to
imagine, but now that is over, I want to keep adding
â€œI think the team should go from strength to
strength. When things change, everything has a
process and undoubtedly a few of the moments and
actions we had last year were part of a
â€œWe must keep the good feelings from last year and
work to be even better. The logical thing to expect
having come from less is becoming more learned
Barcelona have made a mixed start to the new
season. They narrowly edged their first two Primera
Division matches and the Uefa Super Cup, but lost
heavily to Athletic Bilbao over two legs in the
Supercopa de Espana.
Iniesta, though, has been encouraged with the way
2015-16 has begun and urged the treble winners to
push on despite the challenges faced by a transfer
ban which means summer signings Arda Turan and
Aleix Vidal will not join the first-team until January.
â€œWe would have liked to win the Supercopa but we
did not play well and in a tie or final that can be
costly," continued the World Cup winner.
â€œBut the two league games have been very good.
They may not have been spectacular in terms of
seeing two teams attacking and creating chances,
though our level of play left us feeling very
â€œWe are very happy. Now comes a very tough
game at Atletico and the first game in the
Champions League at Roma. As with every year, we
have to go step by step.
â€œWe do not know what will happen during this time.
We live the present and I cannot say whether or not
the disadvantage of not being able to sign will affect
us. True, it is not a normal situation, but what is
beyond doubt is that we must pull forward with
where we are.â€
Iniesta is currently in Oviedo with the Spain national
side as they prepare to face Slovakia in a Euro 2016
qualification clash on Saturday.
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