Claudio Bravo: Real Madrid will slip up sooner or later
Barcelona must be ready to capitalise when Real Madrid inevitably allow their form to drop, says Claudio Bravo.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are a point clear of Barca at the top of La Liga, having played one game fewer, and ran out 3-1 winners in the first Clasico of the season in the autumn. Despite their record-breaking run of wins in the last few months, Bravo is confident that Madrid will eventually suffer a setback in their title push and has urged his Barca team-mates to make sure that they are in a position to take full advantage.
"We’re always thinking of ourselves and we cannot miss a step. Sooner or later our rivals will falter," he told the press.
Barca were dealt a blow in the past week when their transfer ban was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and Bravo admits that he found the severity of the punishment a surprise.
"It’s surprising that it’s such a tough sanction," he said, "[but] I can’t relate too much to it. It’s exaggerated. There are teams who also have negative aspects with other things."
The future of full-back Dani Alves remains in doubt despite the transfer ban, with the 31-year-old admitting on Friday that Barca have yet to offer him an extension to his current contract, which expires in the summer.
"Dani is a player who gives a lot to the team in many ways. It’s not me who should decide if he renews or not. His quality is unquestionable," Bravo said of his teammate.
Barcelona resume their league campaign against Bravo’s former club, Real Sociedad, on Sunday, with the Blaugrana having struggled to gain results at La Anoeta in recent seasons. The Chilean — signed in the summer as a replacement for Victor Valdes — feels that their past results will serve as a useful learning curve this time.
"It will be very difficult. We cannot give room for anything. If Barca haven’t won at La Anoeta in previous years it’s because they relaxed in the second half. That’s an advantage for us to win," he added. "It’s not easy to succeed Valdes but they bought me to compete and not sit on the bench. I always want to improve and things have gone well. All three [goalkeepers] have a very positive atmosphere. Regardless of who plays, we support each other."
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