Berlin: Luis Figo and Carlos Puyol find it inexplicable, while Raul thinks it's a testament to the quality of Spanish football but all three La Liga legends are sure that Barcelona's astonishing slump would not last too long.
Carlos Puyol and Raul
Speaking at what was described as the 'Football Press Conference' at the Laureus World Sports Awards, the trio was inundated by questions on Barcelona's disastrous run in the past one week. The Spanish giants have lost four of their last six games, winning just one and drawing another. Add to this, they have been knocked out of the Champions League after losing in the quarterfinals.
"There are a lot of dynamics to football. Losing always hurts but they will come back stronger and that will be interesting," said former Barcelona captain Puyol. Barcelona are still at the top of the table in Spanish league but only on goal difference against Atletico Madrid. The latest setback to the team came last night when it went down 1-2 to Valencia.
"You can't really compare the three teams in the top half right now. That's why I say, La Liga is the best. Because of this (Barcelona's slump), the race to the title has become more interesting and I am enjoying it. They are all good teams," said Real Madrid great and former Spain captain Raul. Figo, who played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid during his career, more or less echoed the view.
"It is not normal for Barcelona to lose so many matches. I agree the league is more open now. As for Barcelona, I can't explain what's happening with them. It is certainly not a question of talent. But I am sure they are going to come back," he said. "May be they need a captain like Puyol to bring them back," he added laughingly.
The players were also asked about their favourites for the Champions League final. While Raul wanted an all-Spanish contest between Real and Atletico, Figo felt a Real vs Bayern Munich match would be perfect for him. Also there at the event was Brazil's World Cup winning former captain Cafu, who gave his vote to a Manchester City-Atletico contest. "No matter who makes it, I am sure it is going to be a fantastic final," said Figo.