Valverde, en la rueda de prensa previa al partido ante el Rayo

Real Madrid's crisis is Barça's biggest enemy

OPINION

@ErnestFolch

Real Madrid's implosion, for some, will inevitably inject euphoira, security and hope into Barcelona's season. Los Blancos' collapse has helped put even more value on what Barça have done well. But nothing is more dangerous than this narcotic effect. And nothing is more scary that optimism when your biggest rivals' problems are growing. On Friday, Ernesto Valverde touched on that theory, with his usual prudence and discretion, warning that "no one is safe here." 

Nothing moves quicker than football: ask Real Madrid, who 10 days ago still had a treble on their minds but now are a zombie who only aspire to qualify for the Champions League next season. 

Football is full of sudden and dramatic twists and it shows us that, as we saw with Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League KO, a VAR intervention can change a team's destiny in seconds. As Valverde warned, Barça need to be aware of Madird's problems because there are no guarantees and now more than ever they must maintain concentration to ensure they finish what they have started this season. 

With Madrid's elimination, PSG's and possible Juventus', the Blaugrana see the Champions League on the horizon much more clearly than they expected. 

But, before that they must beat Lyon and, to do it, isolate themselves from the euphoria which has been generated by the debacle at Madird. Even though it doesn't necessarily make sense, Madrid's crisis at the moment is the biggest enemy Barça have. If the club are capable of isolating themselves from that and think uniquely about the monumental challenge they have ahead of them, then they will have done half of their homework. 

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