Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta has said winning the imminent Clásico would be more significant than normal for club.
It’s the first time the two Spanish giants meet since the sad passing of Johan Cruyff – the man who done so much to make Barcelona the club they are today.
The symbolic importance is increased by the tribute being paid to honour the legacy of Cruyff at the Camp Nou, making the current league leaders even more motivated to gain victory, as captain Iniesta explained:
Winning it would be very special. The best tribute is the legacy Cruyff has left all of us, ‘Culés’ in particular, but also the football world in general. That’s Cruyff’s tribute to us. Fingers crossed we can get a victory, it’s added motivation for us.
The best tribute we can pay Cruyff is to do everything he taught us. We want to win so we can dedicate it to him.
Despite Barcelona’s sizable lead at the top of la liga, Iniesta insists the Catalans won’t be taking their arch rivals for granted.
It’s good for there to be a confident mood, but I don’t like euphoria, I don’t think it’s a good thing. We’re expecting a tricky match. We’re focused on going about our business as well as possible and showing all due respect to Real Madrid because they deserve it. They’re always capable of beating you.
Iniesta scored and was instrumental in the last meeting between the two sides which finished 4-0, and the Barca magician also commented on what has been a highly enjoyable season from a personal perspective so far:
It’s true that generally speaking I’ve felt really good this season. It’s one of the seasons in which I’m most enjoying football, both individually and as a team. I’m really pleased with the way everything is working out.