Barcelona boss Xavi has given his usual pre-match press conference ahead of the team’s trip to Granada on Saturday in La Liga.
The coach shared fitness updates on a number of players, offered his thoughts on the departing Philippe Coutinho as well as Friday’s Copa del Rey last 16 draw.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Granada
Tomorrow is important for us. Granada is in good dynamics and so are we. The two victories have boosted confidence. We must qualify for the Champions League. It is a good game to demonstrate that we are on the up.
Xavi on Ansu
We were doubting whether he could play tomorrow and have some minutes, but regarding his last experience and how he fell to another injury we don’t want to take any risks. He probably won’t be available for tomorrow but he will be for the Super Cup. It’s a spectacular bit of news for us. He’s working very well, he’s a great professional, he’s very, very ambitious and he’s really going to help us. He can make a difference and for us that’s fundamental. But we want him to be 100%, we don’t want to take any risks at all. We don’t want anything to jeopardise the rest of the season.
Xavi on Ferran Torres
Ferran Torres has tested positive again today. He will not be available tomorrow and Alemany is working to adjust the salary limit in order to be able to register him.
Xavi on Coutinho and Umtiti
He wanted to leave to have minutes. It says a lot about him. He’s agreed to a salary reduction as well. He wants to play. He’s struggling for minutes here so he’s gone elsewhere. With Umtiti we will see. But the truth is that I cannot complain about him, I am delighted with everyone.
Xavi on Gavi and Nico being first-team players
Yes that’s very important and we’ll decide soon. For me, it makes no sense they are Barca B players but we have to see with the salary cap. Gavi is a full international, Nico will be an international eventually. I have no doubt about it. We have to see about Abde as well. Right now it’s important for these players to be first teamers but we have to balance it out. There’s a lot to take into account.
Xavi on Robert Moreno
I have great memories of Robert. We won everything that year with Luis Enrique. He was a reference for me as a coach. I remember a lot of things I put into play today. He’s a fantastic coach. He’s doing well at Granada and I’m happy for him.
Xavi on Dembele
He’s part of the squad. He played the other day. He made a big effort. He’d had Covid, hadn’t trained but he played, scored, we needed him and he delivered. The team was struggling, he came out with a great atttiude and made the difference. That’s what we expect from him. He will continue to be a member of the squad and will continue to help us.
Xavi on Abde
Abde is negative because it’s been 10 days already so we’ve allowed to have him in training. Tomorrow he can be in the squad. We have the most positive positives in football history!
Xavi on Collado
I would like him to always play. The shame is that we haven’t been able to have him play for us due to a bureacratic issue. He would have helped us, he’s been great in training. Tomorrow he could play against us but I‘m happy for him. He’s a great lad. Our objective is to have him back in June and he can help us then.
Xavi on Dani Alves
Against Linares that was the objective, attacking with a 3-4-3. Dani can give us solutions because he’s verstile. Full-back, midfielder, double pivot, he can play as a winger as well. He’s going to give us a lot.
Xavi on Jutgla
Ferran is giving us a lot. He’s very mature, despte being just 22. He plays like he’s older, he understands the game. He understands the position game, that’s important. He knows when to go into space, when to go to the box. Right now he’s marvellous for us. For me he’s spectacular.
Xavi on Araujo
He was operated on. He put in a tremendous effort the other day, he had two broken bones but he played until half-time. That says a lot about his character. We’ll have to see but it won’t be easy for the Super Cup.
Xavi on Memphis
Yes he’s doing well. He’s worked very hard. If all goes well he’ll be in the squad tomorrow
Xavi on the Copa del Rey draw
We’ve been unlucky, it’s a tough opponent, with great coach. We are away again. That’s why I say we’re not lucky. It’s a difficult draw for us. San Mames is always a tough place to play.