Barcelona saw its 39-match unbeaten streak stopped cold by rivals Real Madrid on Saturday, and have little time to stew as the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals begin Tuesday.
That’s when Barca will face La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in the first leg at the Camp Nou, three victories away from clinching the first UCL repeat since AC Milan in 1990.
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Manager Luis Enrique isn’t worried about his charges losing faith after one loss, though he knows the one-match failure shows the fallibility of his club and its striker. Luis Suarez in particular was a shade-off in his return from the international break, and Lionel Messi was a bit off, too.
“They are competitive and totally reliable. They are unique. We will compete to the maximum, for sure.”
“Messi, Neymar and Suárez are the best in the world, but they are not machines. They are not unbeatable nor invincible, not by a long shot.”
Barca hasn’t lost two-straight matches since Nov. 1, 2014. The Blaugranas saw that “skid” start with a 3-1 loss at Real Madrid and follow with a defeat at home to Celta Vigo.
Could it happen again Tuesday?