Barcelona boss Xavi Hernández spoke to the media ahead of Thursday’s Europa League quarterfinal second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt, with Barça hoping to advance to the semi-final after last week’s 1-1 draw in Germany.
As always Xavi spoke about many topics, including the hot rumors of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski moving to Camp Nou in the summer, the return of Ansu Fati and many other topics.
Here are the best bits from Xavi’s conference:
On Robert Lewandowski rumors
I understand the question, but this is not the time to speak about it. He is a great player, but we have to focus on tomorrow’s game.
On Ansu Fati’s imminent return
It’s all about how he feels. He has done well with his running, with peaks of high speed. He is training well with the group, taking part in almost 100% of the sesssions. We don’t have a deadline. It depends on him and when he tells us he’s ready.
On Gerard Piqué’s availability for Thursday
It also depends on how he feels. I have no doubt he wants to be there and is very competitive. He enjoys big matches and tomorrow is one of those. It depends on the pain. If he’s not 100% it is hard to see him taking part.
On the strategy to face Frankfurt
We have to improve on the turnovers, they take advantage of them to counter-attack quickly. We have to minimize the counters and defend more with the ball. We have to compete better. They made it tough for us in the first leg, we have to play better. Their plan is very clear.
We have to be more responsible with the ball, we had many turnovers. The pitch also wasn’t in great condition, but it will be great tomorrow. We have to attack the spaces better. We did a lot of tactical work to attack better.
On Luuk De Jong
I value Luuk a lot, he’s been a role model. He’s an exemplary professional, never complains and always gives his all in training. It’s spectacular to have him in the team, he’s an asset for us and has improved a lot since we arrive. It’s a privilege to have him.
On the atmosphere at Camp Nou
It was key in this tie to have the second leg at home. I am certain they won’t fail us tomorrow and we’ll try to make them proud, we need them. It is key for the support to be great.
On the obligation to advance
This is Barça, we are obligated to win and play well. Every week there’s a spectacular debate about what we’ve done. We have to be excellent at everything we do. It is the toughest club in the world, the most demanding. Winning and playing well is very hard.