Barcelona coach Xavi faced the press on Tuesday to preview his team’s Copa del Rey clash with Intercity.
The manager spoke about several of his players, what he expects from Tuesday’s match, and the situation regarding Robert Lewandowski’s ban.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Intercity
Obviously we are the favourites going into the match. They are in a different division. They are very physically strong. We will do all we can to overcome them and get through to the knockout round. They are tough matches to play because we are favourites and that can be difficult sometimes.
Xavi on Inaki Pena
The situation with Inaki is that yesterday we presented the documents for him to become a first team player from Barca B. Now we are waiting for the resolution from the Federation. It’s something we had pending. That’s why he’s on the squad list because we think he will be able to play.
Xavi on Espanyol’s Lewandowski complaints
We have done everything we could. We followed the instructions of the judge. We have done what we should have done.
Xavi on the Copa del Rey
It’s our objective. We want to win titles. Obviously La Liga is the top level but the Copa is something we are excited for. It’s a special competition. We want to compete and win, so it’s very important for us.
Xavi on resting Pedri and Lewandowski
The idea is to do some rotations that is clear. Players who need minutes, players who are coming back from injuries like Ronald and Eric will play. We will make rotations.
Xavi on if he’s left out Lewandowski because he’ll play against Atletico?
Yes for that. Also because he has a lot of minutes under his belt. It’s a good match for him to rest. We have some very important matches coming up. Not just tomorrow, and we want him to be there. We think he’ll be able to play [against Atletico] so we rest him and Pedri.
Xavi on Gavi going off against Espanyol
It was a normal knock in the lower back. He couldn’t run well, he wasn’t very comfortable so we changed him. He’s gone on to recover. Pure passion drives him. He’s 100%, he’s trained well and he’ll be ready.
Xavi on Lewandowski ban
It’s an uncertainty. For the player, for us, not knowing when we will have a resolution. We are waiting. I’ve spoken with the player. He say he’s calm, not thinking about the sanction but we need to be ready to play without Robert. Let’s see how it gets resolved. It’s not an easy or nice situation.
Xavi on Memphis
I’ve said I don’t want anyone to leave. I’m very happy with the squad. With these players that we can compete. It seems that he is happy, I’m happy, he has got a great attitude. And he’ll be important. I am sure of it. He will be important for us. He helps us in attack, scoring goals, assists, he has the ability to make the difference. He will be important and he will get minutes, like everyone.
Xavi on Araujo
He is at 100%. He will play tomorrow from the start and he will help us. Not just with his ability, but his leadership, he is very aggressive. I’m keen for him to get back playing and help the team.
Xavi on Ansu
He is a very versatile player. The hardest thing now for him is to move forward but he has the talent, he can score goals. It depends on him and how we help him and give him all the support to make the difference. I am convinced he will.
Xavi on Pablo Torre
His injury meant he couldn’t play in the reserves. Tomorrow he will be part of the group. He’s training really well. I’m very happy with him.
Xavi on transfers
I have already said that I am happy with what I have. We have a great squad and I don’t want to talk about other names