Barcelona coach Xavi faced the press on Saturday to preview his team’s La Liga trip to Villarreal on Sunday.
The manager spoke about Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Alejandro Balde and also shared his thoughts on the upcoming game.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Villarreal
With Setien they have a game very similar to ours. They are comfortable with the ball and Setien is doing a very good job, he has a great team. Parejo is an extraordinary player, Reina is good with his feet. I don’t know if Gerard Moreno will play. Whoever has more of the ball will have more options.
Xavi on Ansu Fati
I don’t understand why this is being talked about now. There is no market now, so Ansu is not for sale. We expect a lot from him. We have blind confidence in him, like all the players in the squad. He’s a very important piece of the present and the future. He needs to be calm and have patience and when he comes on he needs to give 100 per cent which is what he’s doing lately.
Xavi on Balde
Balde wants to stay, he is happy, I think we will have the player for many years, I don’t think there will be a problem.
Xavi on Sergi Roberto
For me he is very important. He can adapt to many positions. He always gives it his all, he’s very professional, never complains, never pulls a face. He’s extraordinary to have in the squad. I say a lot he can stay. We are very close to him being able to renew. I’m happy to have him for another year. He can play at full-back or in midfield. He’s a guarantee.
Xavi on Robert Lewandowski
He’s used to winning titles and he’s brought leadership, winning titles, mentality of a champion to us. It’s great to have him in the squad. He doesn’t think about defeats.
Xavi on Kessie
He is very physically strong, wins a lot of duels, reaches the area, scores goals. And he has been patient and that is important.
Xavi on Ter Stegen vs Victor Valdes
I think they are different. Victor was a pioneer, with the distribution of the ball, with his feet he was extraordinary. He marked an era at Barca. Ter Stegen still has many years ahead of him, he’s young for a goalkeeper. He has a great level of maturity. I couldn’t chose one. They are very different. Marc, playing with his feet is just excellent. He’s at an extraordinary level right now. He’s happy, he’s one of the captains, he’s important in the dressing room.
Xavi on Matias Messi’s comments
He has apologised, that’s it. I know the Messi family well. They are grateful, humble people. They have worked hard to be where they are. Sometimes we make mistakes. I am the first to apologise when I do and Matias has done.