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Barcelona's Iniesta and Alves talk Super Cup

"Anyone who assumes we're going to win hands-down isn't thinking straight," Andrés Iniesta said as he and Dani Alves sized up Barcelona's UEFA Super Cup task.

Andrés Iniesta speaks ahead of the UEFA Super Cup game
Andrés Iniesta speaks ahead of the UEFA Super Cup game ©Getty Images

Andrés Iniesta, Barcelona midfielder
We still remember [the 2006 match] well. Sevilla were deserved winners back then and that's why anyone who assumes we're going to win hands-down isn't thinking straight – and it's certainly not what we're thinking. It will be a difficult match against a difficult opponent and we have to approach it as a final.

Winning three titles last season opened doors for us to win other trophies, such as the Super Cup and the Club World Cup. Of course we realise it isn't easy to win six titles. Very few teams have done so, but in this game we'll get started. It will be a tough match. We know our opponents well from the Liga and we know their coach is excellent. We're very excited about being involved in six competitions but right now we're thinking about one thing and that's this match.

Last season we improved throughout and that's the way it should be. Whenever there is a change in coach or players you have to adjust and find new ways of doing things. We showed significant improvements last season and we finished really well. It was a total success. Hopefully we'll continue to grow this season because what won us trophies last season might not be adequate this term.

Dani Alves, Barcelona defender
I was playing for the other team back in 2006 and I learned a lot there. One of the things I learned is that in a final, you have to fight. You can't just give in. I've read that we're the favourites to win but the fact is you have to realise that there are no favourites these days. People say that as a form of protection, praising their rivals to high heaven in order to protect their reputations. If we're the favourites then we need to show that on the pitch. In a one-off match, all that matters is winning. If you can win and make everyone love your football then all the better.

Playing against [my former club] Sevilla has become relatively normal now. Barcelona and Sevilla are both big clubs so the chance of meeting are quite high. Still, Sevilla was my home. I grew up there as a footballer and as a person I will always be grateful to the city. Over time, though, the matches become less siginificant. There will always be friendships but once the ball is kicked it's just another game of football. 

To tell you the truth it's not a huge deal [to be on the cusp of levelling Paolo Maldini's record of four UEFA Super Cup wins]. This is a team sport and what motivates me is the team reaching its objectives. My own personal role doesn't matter that much. To be equal with Maldini would be an honour but I can't compare myself to him. He played in a different era and he had different qualities.

Dani Alves in training in Tbilisi
Dani Alves in training in Tbilisi©Getty Images

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