Time for Valencia to compete with Barcelona and Real Madrid, says Kily Gonzalez

The former Argentina winger won La Liga at the Mestalla and has backed his former club to rival Spain's leading sides once again
Former Valencia midfielder Kily Gonzalez believes the club can now rival the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid for the La Liga title.

The Argentine spent four seasons at Mestalla between 1999 and 2003, conquering Spain's top flight and twice finishing as a runner-up in the Champions League.

Ahead of los Che's meeting with Barcelona on Sunday, Gonzalez is convinced his former club can be a force once again.

"It makes me sad to see Valencia 20 points behind Barca, Atletico [Madrid], Real Madrid," Gonzalez told Marca.

"With Barca it is a key game, there you will realise if they are prepared to face them.

"Before, they went to the Camp Nou and the Bernabeu and took it for granted that we would lose. The mentality is changing.

"In football you have to have a lot of personality, it is important to be brave when starting the game.

"Valencia has players with experience and hunger for glory, it is time to compete on equal terms with Barca and Madrid.

"This Valencia has made a significant change from last season. They have great players, a coach who wants his team to be a problem. That is key."

The Mestalla club currently sit in fourth position in La Liga and could move to within one point of the Catalan giants with a victory on Sunday.