Fabregas not looking too far ahead

Madrid, Jan 23 (IANS) FC Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has discussed the possibilities of his side meeting bitter rivals Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey knockout competition.

Madrid look clear favourites to make it into the last four as they defend a 2-0 quarter-final first leg lead against Valencia, who they defeated 5-0 Sunday but Barca have to work hard after only drawing their first leg 2-2 at home to Malaga, reports Xinhua.

If both teams progress, the first semifinal game between the two biggest sides in Spain will be next week.

"A Real Madrid - Barca is always very balanced. It is a different game that you can't compare with anything else. It doesn't matter if it is the Cup, the Champions League or a local cup, you go onto the pitch differently," said Cesc Tuesday, adding that he was not looking that far ahead just yet.

"Everyone may be thinking in that game, but we aren't. First of all we have to play in Malaga and they beat Real Madrid in their ground in the league as well as drawing away with us. We want to play well in Malaga and if we qualify then we will talk about Madrid," he said, turning his attention to Thursday's return leg.

"We are going to prepare just like any other difficult game. We can't lose our identity and we have to play well because when you play a lot of games against the same rival you know each other well and it is the small things that make the difference.

"We played really well against them in the league and we should have scored more goals in the first leg of the cup. It is something that happens in football and you have to deal with it," he said.

Cesc also gave his support to goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who said last week he will not renew his contract, which is due to expire in June 2014. The midfielder asked people to respect Valdes' decision as it would be best for everyone.

"We are 22 players and we all want the same thing. It is impossible to win every game, we are on track, but we need to keep our feet on the ground," said Cesc.

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