Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Copa success not season-defining – Iniesta

SoccerNews in La Liga 21 May 2016

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Andres Iniesta insists Barcelona have enjoyed a good season irrespective of the outcome of this weekend’s Copa del Rey final.

Barca take on Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday, both clubs riding high from recent success after Luis Enrique’s men won La Liga and Unai Emery’s charges lifted a third consecutive Europa League.

Midfielder Iniesta, who has won three Copas, knows Barca are expected to prevail, but feels their La Liga success – secured with a final-day 3-0 win over Granada – is sufficient to call the 2015-16 campaign a job well done.

“When you win the league it’s impossible to say it’s been a bad season,” said the 32-year-old Barca captain. “Wining the league is a good season in itself.

“We’re going to try to make sure that this season having won the league, we can take it a step higher by winning the Copa del Rey.

“Everybody is free to make their own conclusions, but I think winning the league again was an achievement in itself.

“I’ve never played a final at this club where we haven’t felt the obligation of winning. Every season we try to fight for every title, we get closer to others, a bit further from others, but the demands and the obligations to win are always the same.

“It’s pretty much permanent in every game we play.”

Iniesta has won 27 trophies at Camp Nou and conceded it may not be until after he stops playing that he will realise the scale of his achievements.

“I do keep a count,” he admitted. “There are people around you that are always reminding you of these things as well.

“I’m perhaps at the moment not aware of the magnitude of winning so many titles, spending so many years in this club as a professional.

“My motivation is to continue winning titles and making those numbers bigger and bigger. Not just for myself, I always put the club first and it’s a question of making this club bigger.

“I couldn’t have imagined this in my wildest dreams and it makes me optimistic about my future and winning even more things.”

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