Artola backs Bravo to break long-standing La Liga record

The Barcelona goalkeeper is just 21 minutes short of setting a new longest stretch without conceding in Spain’s top flight

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Pedro Artola has backed Claudio Bravo to “comfortably” beat his record of minutes without conceding a goal in La Liga.

Barca have yet to concede a goal in the Spanish top flight in 2014-15, with summer signing Bravo the preferred choice ahead of fellow new keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The Chile international is just 21 minutes short of breaking Artola’s long-standing record of 560 minutes without conceding – a feat he achieved way back in the 1977-78 season.

Ahead of Barca’s trip to Rayo Vallecano, Artola admitted he thought his record had already been surpassed – but he does not expect it to stand for much longer.

“I thought my record was already broken. Bravo will beat it comfortably,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

“He is in great condition and he knows Spanish football. He’s made sure no-one remembers [Victor] Valdes – and that is important and difficult.”

Barca suffered their first defeat under Luis Enrique in midweek, going down 3-2 to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, but Artola insists Ter Stegen – who was handed the gloves in Paris – was not to blame for the goals conceded.

“It’s not fair to lay the blame on him. None of the players kept the ball. It was a collective failure,” he said.

Artola also believes consistently rotating the goalkeepers this season could undermine their confidence within Luis Enrique’s set-up.

“In other positions on the pitch, yes [rotation is important], because the most important aspect is physical. But not in goal, because confidence is vital and that can only be achieved with games.”