Barcelona coach Quique Setien has challenged his team to win all their remaining La Liga games this season to make sure they are crowned champions.
With 11 games left to go, the reigning Spanish title holders are top of the table with a two-point lead over fierce rivals, Real Madrid.
La Liga has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic for three months but will return next week with Barca kicking off against Mallorca on June 13.
While the coach admits that after such a long hiatus his players may not be in top form, he says they can’t afford to slip up if they want to win the title yet again.
“Normally you ‘re playing preseason games and calculating the minutes you’ve played, and now that’s going to be different. We’ll see how each player’s games go, and what the situation is. Everyone is completely different. We believe that if we want to be champions we have to win every game. We are doing well and we know that to compete and win every game we have to be in top form. We are mentally in a good place. We’ll see how the games are going, and the challenges our rivals have raised. The team is in pretty good condition for the work we’ve done. We’ll need another week to be in form. All the players are very keen and very excited to play. It was nice for us because the players rested. The team looks to have a particular motivation. For any squad, I suppose that’s the same,” Setien told the club ‘s website.
Barca striker Luis Suarez has been out of action since January with an injury and was predicted to miss much of the rest of the season after surgery.
However, the league’s suspension has given him time to get back in shape, and Setien is pleased to have the Uruguay star again available.
“Luis Suarez has had extra time to be able to recover and compete again. He ‘s practically at full fitness; we’ll see how he goes when the competition gets underway, but I’m sure he’ll be at his top level in two or three games,” he added.