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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 17, 2006

Record-breaking Barca can do better, says Ronaldinho

MADRID, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Barcelona forward Ronaldinho says there is no danger of his team resting on their laurels despite their record-breaking start to the season.

'The first half of the season has gone well, but our aim is to do even better in the second,' the Brazilian international was quoted as saying in daily Sport on Tuesday.

'Our strength is that we have a certain way of playing and we never change it. We now play by heart.'

The Catalans have chalked up 17 consecutive victories in all competitions this season, bettering the previous record set by Real Madrid in the 1960-61 season when they won 15 league games in a row.

They lead the Primera Liga by seven points from Osasuna, are in the last 16 of the Champions League, where they face a high-powered duel against Chelsea, and have reached the quarter-finals of the King's Cup.

Ronaldinho said Barcelona's flying start meant they now had the luxury of depending on themselves in the their bid to retain the Spanish title.

'We shouldn't be looking over our shoulders at our rivals, although we have to respect each one of our opponents,' he said. 'We've got an advantage and if we keep going like this we will end up as champions.'

He admitted, however, that they would be tested in the next few weeks with leading striker Samuel Eto'o away playing for Cameroon at the African Nations Cup.

'It's real bad luck that we don't have Samuel because he is a decisive player and he is in brilliant form at the moment,' Ronaldinho said.

'I'm prepared to play in his position as I have played there before, but we also have (Henrik) Larsson and Maxi (Lopez) and they are more accustomed to playing there and we hope they will do well.'

The World Player of the Year added it was important the team did not change their style of football even if they found themselves under pressure in forthcoming games.

'We always try to play good football with the ball at our feet, while our opponents often only come out to defend,' he said. 'We need to keep faith with our style because that is what works best for us.'

Barca will be looking for their 13th league win in a row when they host basement side Alaves at the Nou Camp on Sunday.

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