Ernesto Valverde will return to Barcelona on Sunday with his Athletic side and says he wants to win but is not out for revenge against the Catalans.
The former coach was sacked in January 2020 after winning two league titles and the Copa del Rey and with Barca top of the table.
Valverde returned Athletic in the summer and is now set for his first match back at Barcelona since his departure.
“I’m in the mood to win, but not for revenge, but to win the three points, it’s the first rival we have in front of us and it’s difficult,” he said.
“Barcelona is having a great campaign, the other day they played a good game and it will be difficult. It’s a club you’ve been to, there are a lot of people I know and I’ll say hello and then it will be like one more game.”
The former Barca boss also spoke about Xavi and how he feels the new manager is doing a good job at the Camp Nou.
“They are not out of the Champions League yet, there are a couple of games left, and they at a very high level in the league. The other day they lost, but we already know that the defeats there seem to mean more than they are, they always sting, I feel they have enough to go far,” he said.
“The thing is that Madrid are in a sweet moment, in which they play easily and well. A league of many points is predicted. I think Barcelona are doing well because when it seems that they play a little worse, they create eight clear chances and when they do it well, 20.”
Barcelona head into the match six points behind Real Madrid, after Los Blancos beat Sevilla on Saturday, and will be hoping to clinch the win to cut the gap at the top back to three.