"No one imagines a league without Barcelona": Las Palmas' Jonathan Viera interview
How special is it to play at the Camp Nou?
"I debuted there and the truth is that playing against the best in the world is always special. I remember that game with affection because, despite the result, I played a good match. These are the games that everyone wants to play in because when you face such a team in such a stadium, there is extra motivation. I am a fan of the Barelona style too."
What will you be thinking when you walk out on the Camp Nou pitch?
"To play a good match and work together. It would be very important to get something positive from the Camp Nou as it would greatly strengthen our morale."
Is Jonathan Viera the Messi of Las Palmas?
"There is only one Messi and I don't think we'll ever see another. He is the best of all and to compare me to Messi is to compare an egg with a chestnut. Everyone has his place. I do the work that I think my team needs, just that."
How do you find Vitolo?
"He has had bad luck. No one expected this injury. It's a shame, because he is a footballer who can give us a lot, especially in games like this. Vitolo has experience in these types of encounters and would have given us extra. He has come here with great enthusiasm and it must be frustrating not to be able to play."
Barcelona has asked to play in the senyera shirt. Does the political environment in Catalonia concern you?
"Everyone is free to do what they want. If they want to wear it, then their motives should be respected. We have to focus on our own game, which is enough to think about. The only thing we ask is that nothing happens within the context of the match, because it's a sport and has nothing to do with politics."
Can you imagine LaLiga without Barcelona?
"No. I do not think anyone imagines a league without them. It will be talked about but they will come to an agreement, because the two parties have no interest in this happening."
Will you ask for a rivals shirt?
"No. I don't ask for shirts. Last year I swapped with Neymar because I was told that he wanted my shirt. It fills me with pride that someone like Neymar asked me. Once I asked Xavi, but I did not expect him to want mine in return [laughs]."
What type of game do you expect?
"The problem is that there is a ball and they almost always have it. We have to be humble enough to know that for a long time we won't have the ball and be aware of the reality of things, but once we are in possession, we must use it wisely."
There is a lot of talk about your new position, coming back to receive the ball a lot more...
"I feel comfortable on all areas of the midfield but where I'm least comfortable is playing on the wing. I want to participate as much as possible, I need to be in contact with the ball and whenever I play near the ball I feel comfortable and happy. I do not think my position has changed actually."
Did the defeat against Leganes hurt you?
"The only thing we can do is work to reverse the situation which we are in. Together we will be stronger and all who go out onto the pitch must give our best. We have to be together."