EXCLUSIVE: Patrick Kluivert talks Barca’s El Clasico hopes


CUPRA Next Gen Cup At Camp NOU
Photograph by Cesc Maymo/Getty Photos

The previous Barcelona striker on the Clasico

Stay from Barcelona, and 24 hours earlier than the Clasico is about to start, I sat down with Barca legend Patrick Kluivert to get his ideas on the massive sport, and his evaluation on the state of sporting affairs on the membership.

For me, it was loads of enjoyable, and a bit surreal, to have the dialog. As a fan, Kluivert was the striker on the primary Barca crew I can bear in mind watching. He performed alongside a few of the best to put on the colours, like Rivaldo and Pep Guardiola, in addition to probably the most reviled in Luis Figo (one thing we get into). His perspective on the Clasico is actually distinctive, as each a former participant and somebody at the moment overlaying the occasion as a pundit alongside Iker Casillas.

Within the first half, we concentrate on the rivalry. Within the second half to be revealed subsequent week, we dive into his ideas on the season usually, and what the longer term would possibly appear like for the membership. Right here’s what Kluivert needed to say.

Kluivert on what it’s prefer to play in a Clasico

Properly, you realize what it’s, the sport earlier than or the week earlier than the Clasico, when the sport ends, the press immediately begins already to heat up the Clasico for subsequent week. So, the Clasico for me personally is the very best sport that I’ve ever performed and I performed in loads of huge video games. In Milan, in fact, with AC towards Inter. In Holland with Ajax towards Feyenoord. However El Clasico, that’s a particular, particular situation, historical past clever as properly. It’s the most-watched sport on this planet. The Clasico is a particular sport and in case you are enjoying at this degree you need to play video games like this. That’s what you seek for as a participant. It’s actually particular.

Kluivert on Clasico nerves

In fact, it’s extra tense but it surely’s not nervous. You don’t get that as a result of if you begin happening the pitch, the nerves and the tensions will go away particularly in case you’re enjoying at residence. You realize, the gang is wonderful.

Kluivert on enjoying with Figo

Figo is a incredible participant and an superior particular person as properly. However when he made the transfer on to Madrid the followers have been very indignant. However you make the choice and in case you stand by it then it’s tough. It was spicy, it was very spicy in the direction of the Barcelona followers. The primary Clasico when he performed within the Actual Madrid shirt at Camp Nou it was a extremely tough sport for him as a result of the followers have been so indignant and threw the whole lot on the pitch. It was devastating for Luis. I felt for him, however, you realize, that was the response of the followers and it was actually, actually laborious for him. However that’s the way in which, in case you make that call, you realize what’s ready within the Clasico.

Kluivert on if this Clasico is a title-decider

I feel that in the event that they win tomorrow, from my perspective, it’s too huge. In the event that they win tomorrow, they’ve a superb run to successful the league as properly. That’s what I feel.

Kluivert on how Barca ought to play with out Pedri and Dembele

Properly, the Clasico is all the time a particular reward. Gamers will likely be further motivated, those who’re within the beginning 11, though Pedri is a incredible participant and he could make the distinction within the sport. They produce other gamers who can substitute in fact. All of the gamers, they know what’s on the road, find out how to carry out. It’s a pity he can’t play. However alternatively, I feel that Karim Benzema gained’t play as properly. So there’s additionally an enormous, huge blow for Actual Madrid. We’re enjoying at residence and we have to attempt to dominate the sport. Additionally they have gamers who can resolve the sport in a short time and really successfully. An important factor is don’t lose. That’s key and if you may make the sport and rating early then Actual Madrid can have extra difficulties.

Kluivert on Lewandowski’s objective drought

He’s not anxious. I do know Robert as an individual and he’s fairly relaxed. In fact, he is aware of that’s an enormous factor on the road and he desires to make his mark on this sport for certain. He’s not anxious, he’ll attempt to do the whole lot. And I feel with Raphinha, there could possibly be a really actual menace for Actual Madrid. Then again, Vinicius can also be very, excellent. It is going to be a really thrilling sport I feel. Barca want to grasp they should carry the sport.

Kluivert on Barca’s defence

Yeah, the protection, they switched round quite a bit, Kounde as central defender, Kounde as right-back and vice versa with Araujo. I feel that Christensen did a superb job, Marcos Alonso when he performed, he did a superb job and Jordi Alba or Balde on the left facet. They’ll change round fairly simply however, you realize, towards Actual Madrid, you’ll want to have a stable protection. And what I imply by that’s particularly within the center. It is advisable to have the facility to appropriate. If the wingers of Madrid dribble Barca’s full-backs, they should cowl properly and I feel that will likely be key in tomorrow’s sport.

Kluivert on who ought to play at right-back towards Vinicius

I feel the very best factor can be for Araujo to play at right-back after which Kounde on the fitting of the central protection and I’d play Christensen and Balde.

Kluivert on Balde

I do know Alejandro very properly. I signed him, his first contract from the youth crew, so I do know him very properly. I do know his qualities. He’s tremendous quick. It appears Xavi is now placing him in from the beginning and trusts him. He went with the Spain crew too. His confidence is sweet and I feel, particularly offensively, he’s so robust and so fast, for me he’s within the first XI for certain.

Kluivert on if Balde ought to begin El Clasico

Perhaps Jordi is extra of a Clasico participant at first however general I’d say Balde is on a run so I’d put Balde in entrance of Jordi, additionally on this sport.

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