Just ahead of leaving for Zurich for the Ballon D’Or awards this evening, the Club’s Sporting Director made it clear that he would be happy if either of the two Barça representatives – Messi or Xavi- took the prize.
Zubizarreta also insisted he was certain that the five point gap between Barça and Real Madrid could be closed.
The plane taking the Barça party out to Switzerland took off at 11.00 this morning and just before getting on board, Andoni Zubizarreta spoke to the media about Xavi and Messi's chances against Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as the team's situation in the league following Sunday's draw at Espanyol.
Zubizarreta expressed his hopes that either Messi or Xavi win the Ballon D'Or this evening and Guardiola takes the Manager of the Year Award: "I don't know if there will be any surprises or not. We are just going along to give our support and I just want one of our players to win the award and Pep to take the manager's prize. I don't know what their chances are really, but I would just like to see a Barça representative take it".
Should Messi win, he will join an elite club of players who've taken the award three times and Zubi commented: "so much has been said about Leo and when we look back on his career in the future we'll realise just what he's achieved. Players make the stories while we are watching and enjoying them and it's when they have finished that they become legends. If you look at his stats right now, when he's still only 24, he already has a full career".
After the one all draw against Espanyol, Barça are now five points behind Real Madrid, but Zubizarreta reckons that the distance can be made up: "of course it can. It will depend on if we are able to do things right – as we have done so far and shown that we can do. Then there are things which don't depend on us –apart from the game against Real Madrid. It's a long season and it's clear that it's going to be a tough job".
Finally, Zubizarreta explained that he wasn't worried about the team's results on the road – just three wins in eight league games: "I would worry if the squad didn't have the chance to win, didn't go out looking for a win, didn't create opportunities..... The game against Espanyol was very tight and close right up until the end and whilst we the players keep on playing like that we will be a team that you can depend on and who are competitive". (via FCBarcelona.cat)