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Xavi talks Barcelona captains, racism, Nico Gonzalez and Lionel Messi

Here’s the latest from the Barcelona boss

Press Conference Of Xavi Hernandez Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona manager Xavi spoke to the press on Monday to preview his team’s next La Liga clash against Real Valladolid.

Xavi spoke about racism in La Liga, offered an update on Jules Kounde, Barcelona’s transfer targets and Lionel Messi’s possible return.

Here are the best bits:

Xavi on Real Valladolid

What’s happening in these matchdays is that whoever has a higher need or ugency is getting the result. We’ll put out the best team possible tomorrow and we want to win. We didn’t like losing to Real Sociedad at home. But they are a Champions League level team. We want to finish with good feelings.

Xavi on racism

Unfortunately when there are cases of racism it’s very sad these things can happen in 2023. There are no excuses. We need to condemn these acts of racism, like we see against Vinicius, I think that’s what Valencia are doing. They are trying to identify these people. We need to stand up very strongly against racism. That is very clear.

Xavi on Kounde being out

Kounde’s played everything and the moment has come to say stop. It’s just muscular fatigue, there’s nothing more to it.

Xavi on how Barca can improve next season

A lot. We need to have a better winning mindset. There’s no lack of ambition. We want to win all the titles. We are already planning next season. We will do what we can to reinforce the team to play for all the titles. We know next season will not be easy, we’ll be at Montjuic, we’ll need our fans. We will try to repay that with good football. We will be very competitive and need to go for all the titles next eseason.

Xavi on if right back is a priority

Priority No. 1 is the Busi spot, it’s logical. We need a very high-level defensive midfielder. That’s the reality. An important player is leaving, he’s the captain, he can make a lot of difference. So we need to find a replacement, the best possible. And then there will be other priorities.

Xavi on racism part 2

Xavi on if he counts 100% on Ansu next season

There’s nothing decided yet with any player. The only thing we know is that Busi will not continue. We will plan, look at who we can and can’t sign. We’ll look at everything. We are looking at next season and evaluating the fair play because that’s a big issue.

Xavi on if Spain is a racist country

I don’t think it’s racist country but there are acts of racism and that’s what we need to stand up to and educate people. They say footballers and coaches should be examples but when you are in an environment where they insult you it’s difficult to be an example and not get angry.

Xavi on Kimmich

The sporting director of Real Sociedad got angry when I spoke about Zubimendi? I’m not looking to shake up any team. He’s a spectacular player in his position. There’s not much more I can say.

Xavi on Vinicius

The shirt doesn’t matter. Vinicius is a person before a footballer. We have to defend everyone regardless of their club colours. No one should have to put up with these insults.

Xavi on Pablo Torre

I’m sure he will get some minutes. And those who have played less will be on the list too. There’s no one lacking in attitude or commitment. I think this is a moment to rest some players and let others have the minutes they deserve.

Xavi on Lionel Messi’s return

Everything is up in the air. It depends on a lot of things. I can’t say much else. He’s a spectacular player. He’s someone I am good friends with. It depends on a lot of different cases and the intention of Leo.

Xavi on registering new contracts for Balde, Araujo etc

Mateu is working on that, like always. We will see. What we will do is try to do what we can to plan as best we can for next season. But this is something for Mateu.

Xavi on Nico Gonzalez

I think he’s playing at a really good level, he played a good match yesterday. He’s growing. It’s a shame he was injured, out for three months, but we’ll evaluate it. Everything you are asking is going into this planning we are going through. He’s out on loan so he will come back and then we’ll see what we can do.

Xavi on Barcelona captains

It’s not something I’m worried about. I have various types of leaders. Everyone is a leader in some way. Ter Stegen is a great leader, Araujo, Kounde, Gavi could be a Barca captain, Pedri as well. Lewandowski is a captain without the armband, Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba. There’s a lot of players who have this leadership ability and can stand up and be captain at any moment.

Xavi on Ter Stegen conceding more goals

It’s normal after completing the main objective. I’d love Robert to get the Pichichi and Marc the Zamora. We’ll try and win all this in the next three matches.

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