Barcelona right-back Dani Alves believes that Atletico Madrid are his side’s main rivals for the Liga title and not reigning champions Real Madrid.
Tito Vilanova’s men currently top the table with a nine-point advantage over Atletico, with Blancos 16 points adrift and the defender has insisted it is Diego Simeone’s side who currently pose the bigger threat.
“People talk a lot about Madrid when our rivals are Atletico,” the 29-year-old told reporters.
“We should not look to the team in third place, because there is a team in second. They are closer and, if we do not pay attention, they could surprise us.”
He then praised the “intelligence” of the Blaugrana in coming away from Valencia with a point on Sunday, despite not being at their fluent best.
“Given the circumstances of the game, we are leaving happy to have picked up something at a ground like this,” he added.
“When you are not at your best, you must be intelligent – if you cannot win, you need to get a point.”
Barca resume Liga action on February 10, when they host Getafe at Camp Nou.