Barcelona’s bitter El Clasico defeat to rivals Real Madrid was followed by a rather glum-sounding conversation between defenders Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique. The Deportes Cuatro cameras captured the two veterans talking about their upcoming cup final with polarizing views about their chances of winning.
Historically speaking, an El Clasico defeat is often damaging to morale, which may lead to a string of poor results. Especially in an encounter as crucial as this one, which could have handed Barcelona control of the La Liga title race, a loss is even harder to stomach.
Real Madrid and La Liga aside however, Barcelona must now turn their attention to the Copa del Rey final on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao. The Basques have already prevailed once over the Catalans in a cup final this year, beating them to the Spanish Supercup in a tight encounter.
Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique’s interaction after the Clasico however, was rather interesting. The latter seemed optimistic about Barcelona’s chances of securing their first title of the season. Alba however, was not so convinced.
“We’ll win this cup, for sure,” said Pique to Alba, to which the left-back responded: “I don’t know.”
A puzzled Pique confrontationally asked what he meant, as Alba responded: “I’m just saying, I don’t know.”
The biggest merit of Ronald Koeman in his first spell with Barcelona has been his ability to instill a winning mentality within the squad. There has been more belief that the team can fight and win under tough circumstances, which has largely been lacking in the past few years.
No matter how difficult this Clasico defeat is to swallow, the Blaugrana must put those doubts to bed before their cup final and approach it with full optimism and confidence.