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Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso: “The Clásico is a very intense match because of history and tradition”

NEWS | 21/03/2014

“The best possible news after the match would be that we played well, that the fans enjoyed it and that we are celebrating a win”, said the midfielder in an interview with bwin's website.
Real Madrid and Barcelona square off in the star game of this weekend's La Liga matchday 29, and what is always one of the highlights of the year, in what will be the second Clásico of the season. Xabi Alonso was clear about what he would like to see in the headlines after this important clash: “Of course a victory for use would be the best possible news. To have played well, enjoyed it, that people also enjoyed watching and celebrating a win for the team would be the best news”.

“I think these are always very intense matches because of history and tradition because it is normally the two of us who are fighting for the titles. Their importance dictates that they are very competitive, with maximum tension. The matches are also very intense in the stands. When we play in the Camp Nou or when they come to the Santiago Bernabéu, above all our fans are really into the match and we like that”.

Real Madrid's greatest strengths
“Above all we are an attacking team. With the attacking players we have, we create chances and score with ease. Then we combine that with good balance, a solid defence and great goalkeepers. We try to make the best team possible”.

Barcelona has very good players that have been playing together for many years and they know each other well.

“No, there are no secrets. Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo are good players, they understand each other well and they can change a game. They score a lot of goals, create assists and for us, forming the line behind them, it is easier to play with that kind of footballer”.

The toughest opponent he has faced
“I remember when I arrived in the Premier League there was a player at Middlesbrough, Boateng, who was very intense and very aggressive. It was one of my first matches in the Premiership. He was a Dutch player. He surprised me”. “A lot of players have impacted on my career. As time goes by the coaches really affect you, teammates too... I could not choose one teammate or coach, because I have had a lot”.

His routine for matches
“Nothing special. I always try and do the same. Well, I don't try. I always do the same because it is the best way to prepare for matches and, then, you go into the match visualising what could happen. Thinking a little about what could happen to the contrary and normal things”.