Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho today played down the ongoing row over the state of the Stamford Bridge pitch, ahead of his side's Champions League game against Chelsea on Wednesday.
The playing surface, which Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has already called "a potato field", cut up further during yesterday's FA Cup win over Colchester. But the Brazilian is unfazed at the prospect, insisting: "We know it is bad but it will be the same for both teams. It does not worry me."
In the meantime, Mourinho has offered Bar?a use of Chelsea's training facilities at Cobham to save the Stamford Bridge turf from deteriorating even more. "If Barcelona want to train at our training centre on Tuesday to give us more time to work on the pitch, the offer is there," he said. "The training the day before a game is nothing. It's just to get used to the ball. If they want to train at our training centre we'd be very pleased for them to go there."
Mourinho said the pitch wasn't as bad as it looked. "Sometimes you see beautiful people with no brains," he added. "Sometimes you have ugly people who are intelligent, like scientists.
Our pitch is a bit like that. From the top it's a disgrace but the ball rolls at normal speed."
Chelsea defender John Terry has claimed he plans to give Ronaldinho some rough treatment but the World Player of the Year remains unconcerned. "This does not bother me. I am training as much as I can so I can escape any markers. The only thing that interests me is to play at my best and help the team," said Ronaldinho. "I respect the Chelsea defence but I am not worried or scared. We have to try to forget the past - we committed errors and we will aim not to repeat them."
Ronaldinho also admitted that he was still tormented by the Champions League defeat a year ago. "I still have images in my head of when the game finished in London and we were out," he added. "I do not want this to happen again this year. I know everyone is talking about this match, it is the kind of event which stirs a country. We represent Spain so we aim to do well and we are only thinking about victory. The game in London will be vital and the objective will be to get a good result so we do not suffer in the Nou Camp."