Monday, 27 April 2009

Belletti: "The winners will end up being champions"

Chelsea right wing player and former Barcelona player Juliano Belletti gave an interview to Barcelona's official media.

How do you see the coming games between two of the best teams in Europe?
It'll be difficult. I think the winners will end up being champions. Barça have beaten some of the great teams of Europe, and we've beaten Juventus and Liverpool. So whoever picks up the cup will have defeated the best in Europe.

Do you think Barça and Chelsea are each other's worse possible rival?
I think people thought this would be the final. Obviously there are other great teams like Liverpool and Manchester United, but Barça and Chelsea are the two best teams in their leagues at the moment. It's a game worthy of the final.

What do you think of Guardiola's Barça?
I think he's doing a hard job well. He's changed the players and the new arrivals want to win. The whole thing looks like a very well thought out plan. But unstoppable teams don't exist.

What do you think are Barça's strengths?
Great individual players, and a great team. They play at a high level both on and off the ball. In my Barça days, I remember we put on the pressure when we lost the ball. They still do this now and the Chelsea players are aware of it.

And what about Chelsea?
I’ve never been with a team that wants to win more. Some of the players have won just about everything, but they never give up fighting. We have some great individual players, but we are also a great team. Drogba, Lampard and Terry are on great form, and Anelka is regaining his form.

Barça keep the ball more, Chelsea commit more fouls, Barça score more goals. It’s strange how two teams similar in spirit can vary so much in statistics.
I think Barça's game is very different from Chelsea's. The English just want to score goals, play attacking football, whereas Barça have always played possession football, players working alongside each other. Xavi and Iniesta are two key players, because they make great shifts from defence to attack, or from one wing to another. Chelsea's game is different, tactical moves which go for goal.

What could break the deadlock between the two sides?
In games like these individual moves can be decisive. Barça have Messi, Henry or Eto’o. Chelsea have Drogba, Anelka and Malouda, who is on great form. We are very good from free kicks or in the air. But in games like these, individual moves normally decide the result.

Things have improved for Chelsea during the season. Did the new coach boost morale and motivation?
Hiddink hasn't really made a lot of changes. He came with his own tactics and his quick but to-the-point pep talks. He has a very different character to Scolari, who treated players like close friends. Hiddink tries to make us more professional, he doesn't suffer mistakes from great players. He keeps physical fitness high, and he's harder than Scolari.

With Cole out, who will cover Barça's right-hand attack? Will you fill that role?
I'm sure the coach knows; we have a few players who can play there, but these days it's difficult to stop Leo Messi. He's on great form. I don't think it'll be me. Now I play as a midfielder. To be honest, I don't think I'll be in the starting line-up. I normally come on when we are drawing or losing and we need to keep the ball more.

read the full interview and watch a video here

Read more:
Deco: "Every 20 years you have a player like Leo"

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