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Real Madrid win would be title statement – Girona’s García


Midfielder Aleix García has said Girona want to make a real statement by beating Real Madrid at the Bernabéu on Saturday and climbing back to the top of LaLiga.

Girona have lost just once in 23 league games this season, which came against Madrid back in September. They travel to the Spanish capital this weekend second in the standings, unbeaten in their last 14 LaLiga matches and just two points behind Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Stream LIVE: Real Madrid vs Girona, Saturday 2/10, at 12:30 p.m. E.T. on ESPN+ (U.S.)

Until now, Girona have tried to play down their chances of competing for top spot, with coach Míchel only recently admitting that qualification for European football has become an objective.

However, García acknowledges that a win against Madrid, which would take the Catalan team top with 14 games to go, will further ramp up external expectations after victories over Barcelona and Atlético Madrid in recent months.

“Whether we are candidates for the title or not, with so many points still in play, it’s going to be very difficult to [win the league],” García told ESPN ahead of the match.

“If we manage to win at the Bernabéu, it would make a real statement and people will really think that Girona are in the race.

“We will just keep thinking that there is a long way to go and it’s going to be tough. But, of course, we want to make a statement against Madrid.”

The cheapest tickets for the game are €95, which García said is a reflection of how impressive Girona, who finished 10th last year, have been this season.

“We have earned respect going into this game because the season we’re having is of great merit,” the former Manchester City player added.

“Madrid are aware of the team that is going there on Saturday. Looking at the tickets and the pricing, I think it’s at the level of a Champions League game, so a lot of importance is being given to this match.”

Girona will be without Daley Blind and Yangel Herrera against Madrid after both received their fifth bookings of the season in last week’s draw with Real Sociedad, while Míchel will serve the first of a two-game ban for being sent off in the same fixture.

Despite that, defender Eric García said Girona are optimistic of getting a result against 35-time Spanish champions Madrid.

“The season that we are doing is something historic and we know this weekend is going to be special,” García, on loan from Barcelona, told ESPN.

“We are very optimistic. We know where we come from and that Madrid, Barça and Atlético, as the big clubs in Spain, need to fight for LaLiga. They have players that can win games by themselves.

“But we know that we will have our chances. If we get a good result [on Saturday] and keep doing what we have been doing, taking things game by game, then we will have our chances for sure [to win the league].”

Girona will travel to Madrid on Friday, one day before the game, in a change from their normal routine, with García insisting the increased focus and pressure on them will not affect their performances.

“No one is expecting us to win LaLiga — or at least no one was expecting it — so I don’t think we have pressure at all,” the Spain international added.

“We are really enjoying this moment. All the fans are supporting us. We are a family. And, if we keep going like this, I don’t think any pressure will affect us.”

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