Barca president always believed in world-class talent
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said in an exclusive interview with AFP Sports that he never lost faith in the club's array of stars following their stunning win in Sunday's Clasico.
The Catalans clawed themselves back into the title race in La Liga with an enthralling 4-3 win away to Real Madrid on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu, with four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick.
In the process, Messi became the all-time leading scorer in the famous fixture as Barca twice came from behind to inflict a first defeat on Madrid in 32 games.
Barca had suffered a dip in form in recent weeks before their trip to the Bernabeu, surprisingly losing away to Valladolid and Real Sociedad, but Sunday's victory leaves them just a point behind leaders Atletico Madrid and Real at the top of the table with nine games remaining.
In part of a wide-ranging interview with AFP to be released on Tuesday, Bartomeu insisted he always believed the 'best players in the world' would regain their form.
"Yesterday (Sunday) there was a Clasico and it was a very interesting match," he said.
"We won and that means that now we are now one point behind the leaders Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
"It was very important for us to win this match because we recovered the performance that we wanted, but it is something that we knew (we were capable of) because, as we said in the last few weeks, we are very confident with our players.
"They are a very, very good team and yesterday they demonstrated that they are the best players in the world."