Marc Bartra: "We'll take on Real Madrid man-for-man"
Diario AS caught up with the 26-year-old, a first choice for Peter Bosz at Borussia Dortmund, ahead of tomorrow's Champions League meeting.
Diario AS caught up with Marc Bartra to look ahead to tomorrow's Champions League meeting with Real Madrid. Borussia Dortmund are looking to pick up their first points in the group stage after losing to Spurs on MatchDay 1.
You'll be facing Real Madrid once again…
From the moment the draw was made we saw who we'd picked - like last season and in previous years. Right now Madrid are performing to an extraordinary level - they're one of the best teams in Europe.
Madrid didn't beat Dortmund last season. Does that give the team confidence for this meeting?
Yes, of course. We have that recent experience to draw on. We want to take them on man-for-man. We know what they are capable of but we have faith in what we can do. We've been playing well lately…
How have Dortmund changed under new coach Peter Bosz?
Tactically, there have been changes to the system which is to be expected when a new coach comes in. This season things have been turning out better for us. With Bosz we tend to play a 4-3-3 and we are in a good dynamic - one which we want to prolong.
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I feel comfortable because in training and on a tactical level I am doing the same things I used to do at Barcelona. Even Dortmund's philosophy is quite like the one we have with the national team - the system is almost identical. Every coach will bring their personal touch to a team, but the philosophy is the same and I feel very comfortable with that.
What are Dortmund's strong points?
We have to continue having very clear ideas about what we want. We also need to be aware of the team we are up against - a great team but we should also maintain the dynamic that we are the ones who want to take the game where we want it to go and control possession of the ball. If we have more of the ball than they do, we'll have a bigger chance to punish them. The game will be decided by small details…
Dembélé's left but Pulisic, who is only 19 is doing amazingly well…
We have a few players here who are only 19 or 20 but they are performing to the same level as players who have much more experience. Sometimes it's hard to understand why that is, but that's what this club gives you - between the fans, the belief which the coach gives you - regardless of your age… That's how it should be, but it doesn't happen at every club.
What do you make of Madrid moving towards a more passing style?
It's made them evolve as a team. They have more possession now and they can exploit that because they have players with a lot of quality who are good on the ball. That makes them more dangerous. We'll need to be very alert as Madrid are very compact whether they have the ball or not. They can play a counter-attacking game or a passing game - and that means that we will need maximum concentration.
Zidane gives Madrid belief, says Bartra
How important has it been for Madrid to allow Zidane to have continuity with his project?
It's very important. A coach who is given continuity will know his players better, and will also be able to give younger player a chance in the long term. Competing in the elite is all about the day to day work but in terms of managing the team, you need to look at the long term - Madrid are doing that and it's working out well for them.
How important has Zidane been in achieving that?
He's given all of his players self-confidence and that has helped them to perform to their level. Being given belief by the coach is key for players to perform to their best and Zidane is doing that with the younger members of his squad.