Xavi faced reporters in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to discuss Barcelona’s Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Real Madrid.
The Barcelona boss spoke about his team’s chances against Los Blancos, the return of key players including Pedri and Ansu Fati and a potential debut for Ferran Torres.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on the Super Cup
It’s a great opportunity for us. It’s a great challenge to get to the final which would be a turning point for us. Madrid are surely the team right now that’s in the best shape of all Spain. But that’s in La Liga and you never know what might happen in a Clasico. We need to go out and play our style. We know we have ways of hurting them and we will fight until the end.
Xavi on Ferran Torres
For us it’s good news that Pedri and Ferran are negative and can play. We are awaiting the registration of Ferran but it seems that it will be done shortly. Ansu’s also here. They can help us a lot. We have to be aware they have just recovered from Covid so might not play the whole match. Honestly I’m happy that people are back
Xavi on Araujo and defending
It’s not just him it’s a collective effort. They are happy defending deep and are good on the counter-attack. There are players like Vinicius, Benzema or Asensio who can make the difference. Real Madrid are very strong, in great form but we need to control them and the rhythm of the game, make sure we compete. It’s a great test for us tomorrow.
Xavi on if Ansu and Torres will start
We’ll see tomorrow. We’ll see how they get on during training. They will probably get minutes tomorrow. It’ll be good to know how they are recovering from Covid and from injuries. There are five more months of competition and we don’t want to lose any more to injury but these are some important players coming back.
Xavi on if his team can beat Real Madrid
Yes, it would be a turning point which would be important. To win a Clasico and with a title on the line but also for the morale of the team. This is a final, and while we are here they all are. Tomorrow isn’t just about Madrid it’s the Super Copa. It is a very important game for us.
Xavi on Ansu, Pedri, Ferran, Frenkie, Araujo
I’m seing a lot of positive things in the group. We need to be self-critical and look at the strategy. We are suffering a bit in some areas but in others we are doing really well. We are building a new project, a new team, tomorrow is a good test to see where we are at. These players will be important not just for tomorrow but for the future. I’m happy that they are back.
Xavi on Ansu, Torres and Dembele in attack
These are players who can come on and make the difference. They get in the area a lot, create opportunities. These are situations we need to manage the minutes well. We are also getting Frenkie and Ronald back. This will give the team a boost without any doubt.
Xavi on Barcelona’s future
I can’t see the future but i’m very positive. I’m seeing a lot of very positive things. We are moving forward with this style of play which was difficult at first. It was hard to control matches, we didn’t have enough patience. This way of moving forward isn’t easy. The group is well, very united, but we need time to grow.
Xavi on what is Memphis’ role
Right now the same as everyone. Those players who deserve it, have the best performances, this is Barca. It’s the players who earn their spot. There’s a lot of competition for places but I’ll put out the player based on who is best not the name they have.