The fact FC Barcelona have already won a difficult Group E with a Matchday to spare underlines their "focus and quality" according to playmaker Deco.
For FC Barcelona midfielder Deco there are only reasons to celebrate that no competitive edge remains for the Matchday 6 visit of VfB Stuttgart. The two-time UEFA Champions League winner believes the fact business is already sorted before this final Group E outing shows his team's quality and application at a difficult moment in their season.
"Nobody should forget what kind of achievement it is to guarantee first position, in what has been a very demanding group, before we reach the final Matchday," he said. "To me, this is an indication of our focus, our quality and of the fact we must have been playing some decent football over the last few months. If you take into account how many serious injuries the team have had to put up with, I believe the achievement is even greater."
On that subject, the Portuguese international also reckons the atmosphere and timing of this game against the German champions provide an ideal opportunity for players such as himself to work their way back to form and fitness. "There are a number of us, including myself, Samuel Eto'o and Yaya Touré, who have missed some games and for Eto'o and myself, it's an ideal chance to improve match fitness now we have overcome our injuries."
The 30-year-old returned from a torn thigh muscle in the weekend victory over RC Deportivo La Coruña, his first Primera División outing since 20 October, but knows that "sharpness only returns by putting in the minutes during competitive matches". Another player keen to see as much UEFA Champions League action as possible is Bojan Krkić, and Deco hopes the 17-year-old can become the competition's youngest-ever scorer on Wednesday: "It's a team game and we need to play well, but Bojan is developing so well and has such talent that if, for example, we won a penalty I think most of us would want Bojan to take it. It would give him the chance to score, gain confidence and make history."