Diego Alves: ”We will leave everything on the pitch”
Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves has admitted that Valencia have to produce a ‘near-perfect performance’ in order to beat Barcelona in their Copa Del Rey Semi-Final Second Leg at the Camp Nou on Wednesday evening and reach the final.
The match is tied at 1-1 after the first leg at the Mestalla last week after Jonas’ strike was cancelled out by Carles Puyol’s header. Alves was at fault for the Barcelona goal, but he ultimately kept Valencia in the tie by saving a second half penalty from Lionel Messi.
Barcelona have the advantage with their away goal, meaning Valencia will have to score at the Camp Nou, but Alves insists the team will fight until the very end in order to progress to the final.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the game, the goalkeeper said: “We will fight right up to the final seconds and will leave everything on the pitch.”
“We don’t know what will happen, as Barcelona’s style and aggression leads to many chances over the course of ninety minutes. People seem to think that things are going badly for Barça, but that isn’t the case. They are still the best team in the world -even if they haven’t had as many chances recently.”
Despite saving a penalty from Messi, Alves is hoping he doesn’t have to face the Argentine from the spot again and doesn’t want the match to go to penalties.
“I don’t want penalties!” joked the Brazilian. “They are dead ball specialists and have surprised ourselves and Real Madrid on the back post from crosses, so we will have to be alert from those too.”
The 26 year-old goalkeeper was then asked how he felt about Barcelona playing a day earlier than Valencia at the weekend. The Catalans played Real Sociedad on Saturday while Valencia had to face Atletico Madrid on the Sunday.
Alves said: “Negativity doesn’t feature in our plans. We want to get the best out of the team this Wednesday in order to continue in the competition.”
“That’s the way the calendar is, and you just have to accept it. There is a game on Wednesday and the excitement that we have will eliminate any fatigue from previous games.”