Barcelona midfielder Iniesta hypes up Real Madrid meeting

Barcelona midfielder Iniesta hypes up Real Madrid meeting

Published Oct. 23, 2014 8:54 a.m. ET

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has acknowledged there is much more than just three points at stake in Saturday's first Clasico of the season at the Bernabeu.

Luis Enrique's unbeaten side head to the Spanish capital top of the Primera Division and knowing a win would open up a seven-point cushion over arch rivals Real Madrid nine games into the season.

Iniesta accepts victory would provide a big psychological boost.

"It's not just any other game - it never is. If you win, it makes you feel great," the Spain international was quoted as saying at a press conference on Thursday.


"The Clasico is always a battle in footballing terms. You have to be the best in everything to win.

"We have to go there with the mentality to win - not thinking about what will happen afterwards, no matter what happens. That would be a mistake.

"It will be a closely fought game. Madrid have a lot of potential and it's never easy to go there and win."

Luis Suarez is available to make his long-awaited debut, having so far been unavailable following his summer transfer from Liverpool due to his four-month ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

Iniesta is looking forward to linking up with the Uruguay striker.

"It has been good since he arrived but is in an awkward situation because there is nothing worse for a player than not playing," the 2010 World Cup winner said. "But now he can finally return. He's happy and so are we."

Barca go into the game on the back of a 3-1 Champions League victory over Ajax at the Nou Camp on Tuesday, while Real Madrid were 3-0 winners at Liverpool 24 hours later.

Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his bemusement at the Clasico being scheduled for Saturday, giving his side only two full days' rest to Barca's three, but Iniesta was paying little attention.

"Cristiano speaks of the calendar, but it is what it is," he said. "We have also played games with fewer days of rest - you have to adapt."