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23 April 2024

Barca boss says winning league 'very difficult'


Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta says retaining the Spanish league title this season will be "very difficult" after Real Madrid opened a 10-point lead over the Catalan side over the weekend.

Real extended its gap over second-place Barcelona with a 4-2 win over Levante on Sunday which came a day after the Catalan side slumped to a 3-2 defeat to Osasuna.

"The league is very difficult now. Real Madrid is very strong," Zubizarreta told reporters as the squad headed to the airport to fly to Germany for their first-leg clash against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League Round of 16 match on Tuesday.

"We will keep up the pressure so that in case something happens to Real Madrid, we will be ready to take advantage of it. The number of points which Real has racked up is extraordinary."

Real has 58 points from 22 matches and have only dropped eight points so far this season, with defeats away to Levante and at home to Barcelona and one draw at Racing Santander.

The club's coach Jose Mourinho attempted to play down title talk after his side's win against Levante.

"There are many points still at stake and many games yet to be played," said Mourinho, who has won league titles in England, Italy and his native Portugal.

"Every match is difficult and increasingly so because there is so much at stake for everyone now. Those who want to avoid relegation or play in Europe risk everything.

"There are 39 points left, which translate into 13 victories, and that's still a lot. Ten points are just that, but they do give you some room for error Losing a game won't push us into a decisive situation," he added.