Jose Manuel Pinto has dismissed the suggestion that he is currently playing for his Barcelona future.
The 38-year-old goalkeeper was drafted into the Blaugrana line-up for Saturday's Liga clash with Granada after the Catalans' No. 1, Victor Valdes, was ruled out of action for up to four weeks with a calf injury sustained on international duty with Spain.
It was put to Pinto ahead of Tuesday's meeting with Ajax that he could secure a new contract if he impresses during Valdes' absence, given the Roja shot stopper is set to quit Camp Nou at the end of the season, but the former Celta man insists he is just focusing on the task at hand.
“I’m just taking it as a reward for all my hard work, my commitment to training and all that effort," Pinto told reporters on Monday. "I have nothing to prove and don’t feel like I’m being observed. As long as I feel like I have my form, as I do at the moment, then I want to carry on playing football and renewing my contract. I like to take each day as it comes, and right now what I have to do is work.
"Ever since I have been at Barcelona, my contract has renewed itself, and that’s always been because of my hard work, and staying focused."
While Pinto has had success of his own during his career, he had plenty of praise for the man whose gloves he's filling.
“Victor is the most in-form goalkeeper around and it’s a challenge to take his place. But it’s a challenge I welcome and I’m using it as an opportunity to grow," he said.
Pinto explained that while former Barcelona attacker Bojan Krkic is the only Ajax player he knows well, he is very wary of the threat posed by Frank de Boer's side.
“Against any team in the Champions League it is dangerous only to think about one player," Pinto said. “If they’re playing in Europe, it’s because they have lots of quality players."