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Iniesta: "Beating Real Madrid would be the best tribute to Cruyff"

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Iniesta: 'Ganar al Real Madrid, sería el mejor homenaje a Cruyff' © Getty Images Iniesta: 'Ganar al Real Madrid, sería el mejor homenaje a Cruyff'


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Andrés Iniesta told the media about his feelings and those of his team ahead of Saturday's Clásico. The midfielder explained that wearing the captain's armband comes naturally to him but that it carries a great responsibility with it and that he knows what he has to do in games of this type because he has had great teachers in former captains such as Puyol, Xavi or Luis Enrique, former Barça captains: “Every game against Real Madrid is important but we cannot deny that this next one is special. Winning the Clásico would be the best tribute to Johan Cruyff. He has left us a legacy that gives us extra motivation."

Asked about his fitness, the midfielder said that he is feeling better and that he hopes to be in perfect shape for Saturday: "My injury is a lot better, and it is following the normal recovery process from the niggles I felt during the game against Arsenal. I hope everything continues as normal and that I will be available for the team." He did, in any case, play down his own importance for the game: "Within the group, it is important that our players who are most decisive in one-on-one situations are at their best. Aware as we are that football is a game, but at the same time a really serious thing, because you represent a club and its fans, we try to have fun and entertain our fans. There's no euphoria here and we will try to do our job well to earn all three points for Barcelona."

Iniesta prefers recent Clásicos over those played during José Mourinho's time: "I prefer normal Clásicos. Ones like there have always been, with the exception of the ones we had in that three-year period. I think we all prefer to talk about football, and of the rivalries that were there out on the pitch... But I don't think all that noise from outside was in anybody's interests. It all happened at a certain time and that time is now past. We play one way, and Real Madrid another. That's what makes football so great, and I don't think anyone has to envy us anything. It's going to be a great game against a great opponent."

Iniesta preferred not to enter into comparisons Benítez's and Zidane's Real Madrid: "I don't know what has changed from the first half of the season to now. I always see Real Madrid as a very dangerous and powerful side. If we don't play the way we ought to, we'll have a bad time. Real Madrid are always a direct rival who fight against us for every title, so we will face this game like we will face every other final we have this season if we are to reach our objectives."

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