• La Liga

Iniesta keen for Barcelona changes

ESPN staff
May 12, 2014
Andres Iniesta says the clash against Atletico Madrid is Barcelona's "final" © Getty Images

Andres Iniesta says that Barcelona will give everything to win Saturday's La Liga final day decider against Atletico Madrid, but win or lose the expected summer shake-up at the Camp Nou must go ahead regardless.

Barca have faltered regularly through recent weeks - losing at Valladolid and Granada, drawing at home to Getafe - but regular slips from title rivals Atletico and Real Madrid have kept the title race going right down to the wire.

With Madrid now out of the running, Gerard Martino's side will win the title on head-to-head record should they beat current leaders Atletico on Saturday, and the Blaugrana playmaker told Monday's post-training news conference that such a season ending would be a new experience even for players who have won so much in recent years.

"For us this is our final," Iniesta said. "All the year is going to be decided in 90 minutes. The chance to win a Liga in the last game, in front of our fans, would be more celebrated than ever. This group of players have never experienced something like this. Even after all we achieved in recent years it would be great."

Barca and Atletico have met five times already this season across three competitions, with four games having finished as draws, and Atletico winning their most recent clash to progress in the Champions League. Iniesta admitted his side must be more accurate in attack this time around if they were to get the win they need.

"For the importance it has, Saturday's match is different, we hope we can beat them for first time," he said. "In games so balanced, the small details make the difference. We will have possession, the important thing is to be accurate, quick, bright when it comes to finishing moves."

Iniesta said that self-critical comments made after the Getafe draw two weeks ago by Martino, Xavi Hernandez and Sergio Busquets still held true no matter whether Barca now won the title or not.

"It has not been an easy season, there have been many things happening, extra-sporting things which I can understand have annoyed the fans," he said. "When a team wins La Liga it can never be called a bad season. But that does not mean things do not need to be done, as we said two weeks ago. Winning the league will not change anything. This week we will focus on the game, and then see what happens. Later the evaluation can happen of the club, the directors, who is coming in, who is not coming."

The Spain international said he would be happy for Martino to win the title in his first season as coach, while suggesting no matter what happened a new boss would come in.

"[Martino] deserves all the respect in the world," he said. "After the last game we will talk about lots of things, coaches, players, who will go, who will stay. But not until then. The first year is not easy, especially with all the things that have happened. It would be worth winning the league for him and his people, we have all suffered together."

Iniesta would also not be drawn on possible players leaving, saying he felt comments about an exit made by team-mate Javier Mascherano on Sunday had been misinterpreted.

"I do not think [Mascherano] said he would not be staying," he said. "All players are just focused on the 90 minutes, to say goodbye to the season in our own stadium and to win La Liga. There could be no better end to the season."

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