Barcelona manager Xavi has spoken to the media ahead of Saturday’s La Liga clash against local rivals Girona.
The coach spoke about Saturday’s opponents, Ousmane Dembele’s form, not being able to register Gavi, Ronald Araujo’s best position and much more.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Girona
Girona are a great rival. They have many talented players, good full-backs, center-backs. They play well with the ball. We are talking about a top team.
Xavi on Dembele’s future
For me Ousmane is an important player. Different player, someone who makes the difference. It’s difficult to find these kinds of players in the world. For me, he’s a key player. Ousmane knows it, the club knows it, he’s playing at a fantastic level. He has changed his mentality. He’s at a fantastic level and I hope to have him here for many years.
Xavi on not being able to register Gavi
Yes we are really calm. Everything is calm and that’s all.
Xavi on contract extensions for Gavi, Araujo, Balde
All of them are playing at a fantastic level. I don’t think this affects them. We will solve this situation. I’m not thinking about this. They are calm, happy, confident. To play in Barcelona it’s not easy and they are enjoying a fantastic moment.
Xavi on Ferran Torres
Ferran always trains well. He is always motivated, with ambition. He’s a professional. One of our examples in the squad. And that’s fantastic for a manager. He always works really well. It doesn’t matter how many minutes he plays. He always fights for the team and for me that’s really important. He needs to score to increase his confidence but he’s training well and that’s the most important thing.
Xavi on if he’s talked to Busquets about his future
No, we talked a few weeks again. It will be a personal decision. He’s a key player and one of the best holding midfielders in the history of football and not valued as he deserves. I hope he will stay many more years but it’s a personal decision.
Xavi on Araujo’s best position
For me the best position for Araujo is center-back, right center-back. He’s improved a lot playing with the ball. If you see his first games and then now, many, many differences. He always takes a good decision. He has understood really well our way of playing. He feels also that he’s in a great moment.
Xavi on Marcos Alonso’s contract extension
I am really happy with Marcos. Firstly because he’s a great professional. He has adapted really well to the team. He’s an experienced player, he can play in different positions. He’s been a top signing, he’s improving and will be really important.
Xavi on if he still wants a right-back
I have a fantastic squad. It’s true that we are missing a natural right-back except for Hector Bellerin but we have different options there.
Xavi on Pedri’s 100th appearance
Pedri has a natural talent. He’s 20 years old and he plays tomorrow for the 100th time. Incredible numbers, a talented player, present and future of the club. And not just him, we have many other footballers who are youngsters and top players. We need them. We have to be with them and I think we have a really talented, young squad. It’s difficult to find a talent like Pedri.
Xavi on if Ter Stegen ist he best in teh world
For me he’s one of the best in the world. If he’s not the best, he’s in the top three. And for Barca, the best one, becacuse of how we play. For us he’s crucial. He plays well with both feet. People criticized him when I arrived here but he is playing at a fantastic level and this gives us confidence.
Xavi on Gavi
Gavi is pure passion. He motivates the rest of his team-mates. He has personality. When you see how he trains, you see how good he is. It’s incredible the passion he has.
Xavi on Arnau Martinez
He’s a fantastic full-back. Arnau is also really strong. He has a good technique, personality, an outstanding player.