It's La Liga weekend! The Spanish League is back, and Barcelona have the responsibility to defend their title against improved and stronger sides in Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Valencia and Sevilla. It's a stiff competition, but one Blaugrana is more than confident on his team.
Barça center-back Marc Bartra talked to the media to preview the first league round of the season, against Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés. He lamented the loss of Pedro Rodríguez, but believes that new signings Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan will prove to be fundamental to strengthen the squad at the most important time of the campaign in January. He also commented on the defensive problems the team have encountered since preseason, and more.
Here's a few highlights from his presser:
"I feel energetic, much more mature this season, and it's a very good time for me, both personally and professionally.
On the start of La Liga:
"The season is opening at a special time for me, both personally and professionally. I want to keep winning at Barça."
"We have to reboot, understand what we're up against, and go all out. We have to forget about the past and focus on the present."
On facing Athletic Club for the third straight game:
"Athletic are a tough team and the best we can do is come back, play good football, and get the three points."
"When things don't go very well one day, I really want to have another shot at that day. Barça are lucky enough to be competing again very quickly and there are lots of ways we can learn from our mistakes."
"We play well as a team and we make mistakes as a team as well. We have to improve in all aspects and try to avoid individual errors."
"Aduriz is a striker who's scored a lot of goals and he really knows how to move. He's pretty clever and we have to be at a high level, but above all we have to be ourselves."
On Pedro's transfer:
"Losing Xavi and Pedro hasn't made us weaker. I'm going to miss them a lot but teams like Barça lose very good players and get back very good players."
"We still have a good group of homegrown players. You can't always bring up players who are ready for the first team. But with those who have joined us from other clubs, we'll continue to be unstoppable."