Barca’s Pedro targeting 100 points
Agence France-Presse in Madrid
Barcelona winger Pedro Rodriguez has claimed he and his teammates are targeting Real Madrid’s league record of 100 points after sealing the title last weekend.
The Catalans were handed their 22nd league crown when Madrid could only manage a 1-1 draw with Espanyol, but they stayed on course for a century of points with a late come from behind win at Atletico Madrid 24 hours later.
And with nothing else left to play for this season, Pedro said winning their last three games to match Madrid’s treasured total from last season can be a motivating factor.
“The 100 points are a motivation, an objective that the team has in mind,” he said.
“We know that it will be difficult because the opponents that we have left are still playing for things, but we will try to do it.”
The Spanish international also insisted it has still been a successful season for Barca despite their eliminations to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the Champions League and Copa del Rey respectively.
“The league is the most important title in the season because it is the one of consistency.
“I am very happy with the league and for the work of the team.”
However, the 25-year-old has been slightly disappointed with his own return of just eight goals this season and understands why his place may be under threat by new faces arriving in the close season.
“Personally, I would have liked to be able to offer a little more, but I am happy with the opportunities I have had.
“Next season it will return to being very difficult. It is normal that in this team they talk about reinforcements.
“Barca needs goals and a lot of offensive contribution. Therefore, every year the frontline suffers alterations.”
The likes of Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and David Villa will get the chance to prove their worth between now and the end of the campaign as Lionel Messi has been ruled out for the remaining weeks of the season with the hamstring injury that has dogged him in recent months.
Barca’s opponents on Sunday, Valladolid, have also achieved their goal for the season by mathematically sealing survival, but their manager Mirsolav Djukic is looking forward to the challenge of facing the champions.
“The two teams have achieved their objectives, but I have never played easy games,” he said.
“I think this is a good opportunity to see how we are in comparison to the best team in Spain.
“We can win against anyone and with our style we are confident that we can win, although we know it is very difficult because they will want to celebrate the title.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday the focus is on the fight for the final Champions League place with Valencia and Real Sociedad both locked on 59 points.
Valencia are first up as they travel to Getafe before Sociedad face an awkward looking trip to Sevilla on in the evening.
And despite making up five points on the Basques since they lost in San Sebastian three weeks ago, Valencia boss Ernesto Valverde is warning his side against being over-confident.
“It is a decisive matchday because we have a difficult opponents and Real Sociedad play in Sevilla.
“Both matches are difficult. We are confident, but I would like to control this euphoria that we have. It also isn’t good that this comes over us because we could have a setback.”
And at the bottom Mallorca could be relegated if Zaragoza beat Athletic Bilbao and they fail to win against Betis on Monday.