Xavi Hernandez has faced the press once again to discuss Barcelona’s next La Liga game against Athletic on Sunday at Monjuic.
The Catalans are back in action after the international break and are set for a hectic week with Champions League fixtures and El Clasico to come.
Xavi spoke about the game, offered a few fitness updates and also revealed how he’s feeling about Nacho seeing his ban reduced in time for El Clasico.
Here are the bests bits:
Xavi on Athletic
It will be a difficult match as always, Athletic are very strong physically and technically well equipped. Valverde is a great coach and he likes to press high. They are having a great start to the season. They’ll push us because they’re a very brave and physical team. They’re a tough opponent.
Xavi on Lamine, Balde, Araujo and Gundogan
They will all be there on Sunday, they are at 100%. Those who have traveled have done recovery work, but they are fine.
Xavi on Pedri and De Jong
The evolution and the sensations will decide when Pedri and the rest return. We will not force anyone. It just depends on how they feel.
Xavi on Lewandowski
He feels good. He’s getting better every day and he’s always looking ahead. He wants to be there [for El Clasico]. He’s a leader. Having him on the team is wonderful.
Xavi on La Liga
We’re three points behind the leaders. But we have to keep working hard, to keep fighting, and to keep improving, because there is a long way to go in La Liga.
Xavi on Nacho’s ban being overturned
This is a question for the Committee. It is surprising, we appealed Lewandowski’s gesture and they ignored us. It surprises me.
Xavi on Inigo Martinez
I like Inigo Martínez’s personality and how he brings the ball up the field. He’s going to help us a lot and be an important player for the team.
Xavi on how Laporta is doing
He is a very positive and very brave person. He is the leader of this entire project. He is calm and I am with him 100%.
Xavi on Ronald Araujo
He was very good in both games. Physically he is back to 100%. He is calm, well, we try to protect him. He is a leader for us.
Xavi on Joao Cancelo
Joao Cancelo looks good. He’s a physical wonder. He’s having fun here at Barça and is contributing a lot.
Xavi on Barca sharing the goals around
There is a lot of variety. There are people with confidence in front of goal. That is great. Last year, we depended a lot on Lewandowski.