Barcelona coach Xavi has been talking about his team ahead of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey clash with Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou.
The manager spoke about the quarter-final match-up, offered a few updates on his players and shared his thoughts on Gil Manzano being appointed referee.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Real Sociedad
I think it’s going to be a great match. They are in form. We had a good match against Getafe. We are in a good moment. They are a solid team. I think it’ll be a great match.
Xavi on if Inaki Pena will play
We will make a decision. We have trained normally. We don’t want to give any clues away. We have decided how we’ll play but we won’t decide the team until tomorrow, about an hour and a half or so before the match.
Xavi on Gil Manzano (ref who sent off Lewandowsk)
No [worries], not for us. We will try and receive him in the best way possibe. Whatever happens happens. We hope the match will be relaxed and everyone will be happy with the refereeing. Robert is not worried either. He’s a professional and his game is the most important thing. That’s what we can control.
Xavi on Busquets and Zubimendi
I think they are different. Zubi is more physical, faster. Busi is technically better in that sense. I think he passes better. But Zubi is a great player, not just him. If you look at La Real they have some great players in midfield. It’s a really great team and it’s going to be really complicated.
Xavi on transfers
In theory there will be few movements. I said that from day one. I said we have a market window that will be quite quiet especially in terms of signing. I am calm. I’m happy with the team. At the moment there is no news.
Xavi on Manzano part 2
No I always say they should forget about the refs. They need to go out and play football. It’s a situation we can’t control. We can control our game. We are in a good moment. Just because he’s been assigned it’s not going to change anything.
Xavi on Gavi
Gavi has passion and courage. I think he is fouled a lot and he gets few fouls.
Xavi on Barca Femeni being kicked out of the cup
There are laws. It was our mistake. Nothing more. We made a mistake, they have knocked us out of the cup and that’s what we have to live with. The law decides.
Xavi on Gavi being compared with Casemiro
When he plays in the national side he’s marvellous. And when he plays for Barcelona he is not liked. That’s how it is. Let Gavi be calm and continue to play with passion. I recommend him not to slow down. He has no ceiling.
Xavi on Raphinha
He’s making decisive assists, like in the last match. He can play on the right, the left, he’s dynamic. I’m happy and he’s growing. It’s important for him and for the team. He can make the difference at Barca, that’s not easy, and he’s doing it.
Xavi on Ter Stegen
Marc is at a spectacular level. Maybe the best moment I’ve seen him at Barca. He gives us a lot. He made the difference. He’s done it in a lot of matches. It’s very important.
Xavi on if Barca have practised penalties
Yes, we have worked on everything that can influence the match. Real Sociedad concede very few chances and let in very few goals. It will be a great game. It will be very difficult for us.
Xavi on Kessie
At no time have I considered his departure. He’s a player that I like a lot because he gives us alternatives in the game. He was especially good against Ceuta.
Xavi on if De Jong and Araujo are fit
They are all fine, 100 per cent. Luckily for the team and unfortunately for me, I have to leave 12 or 13 players out of the team. It’s a luxury to have all the players
Xavi on Alarcon
He’s not coming because he has a Cup match with the youth team tomorrow. But I like him and he’ll come back with us because we are short of strikers.