Jeremy Mathieu believes Barcelona have fully recovered from a “s*****” run in April as they prepare to face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final on Sunday.
Barca could complete a second successive domestic double at the Vicente Calderon, having secured a sixth Liga title in eight years with a 3-0 win against Granada last weekend.
Luis Enrique’s side have returned to form at the perfect time, winning each of their last five matches by an aggregate score of 24-0 after suffering three successive league defeats in April and exiting the Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals to ruin their dreams of an unprecedented successive treble.
And Mathieu, who recovered from a knee injury suffered in France’s 4-2 win against Russia in March to feature off the bench in the final two matches of the season, says the Copa provides an opportunity to end the campaign on a positive note.
“We had a s***** month due to that run of results, but the double is close,” Mathieu told El Mundo Deportivo.
“Of course the league is the most important title, it’s the one where consistency counts. But [the Copa] is also an objective for the club. It’s the final title that’s left. The dressing-room wants the double.”
The versatile 32-year-old believes fatigue may have been the root cause for the champions’ worst run of form since 2003.
“When you sign for Barca, it’s to win everything. You cross the door to the dressing-room and you already know that the objective is to win the treble. The first year was fantastic.
“I don’t know if there is an explanation [for the dip in form in April], but I don’t think about looking for any excuse. What happened, happened. And we picked ourselves up.
“Maybe we were tired. We’re not machines, we’re human, it’s normal.”
Sevilla, who won a third successive Europa League title with a 3-1 win against Liverpool on Wednesday, beat Barcelona 2-1 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in October and scored four goals past the Catalans in the UEFA Super Cup.
“I don’t know if it’s an advantage if they’ll come to the final delighted and relaxed or competitive, but it’s a final,” Mathieu added.
“It doesn’t matter how they approach it, we want to win it.”