Xavi was back in front of the press on Friday to discuss all things Barcelona ahead of Saturday’s La Liga clash against Valencia.
The Barcelona boss spoke about several of his players, picking his team up after defeat to Bayern, and how he’s feeling at the club right now.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Valencia
It will be an attacking, intense and very defensive opposition. It’s a team that pushes really well. They attack really well, it will be exciting for the fans, the coaches will have to suffer a bit more. But we shouldn’t forget we’re in a really good dynamic in the league. We need to move on from the Champions League.
Xavi on using four midfielders
It depends on the game and what we want at that moment. We have more control of the game, more dominance and we don’t lose as many balls. It is an alternative that we can use.
Xavi on his message to the players
We have talked about changing the chip and that we are in a good dynamic in La Liga. We have been self-critical but we have been lacking in the big games. We have to turn the page and think about La Liga. We are fighting for the title and this is the dynamic to follow. We are together in the changing room and tomorrow is a great moment to react.
Xavi on picking his team up
I’m still positive. It’s a big blow in the Champions League, but we can have a good season. We’re in a good dynamic in La Liga, beating strong rivals. Tomorrow is another test. We have to show pride and character.
Xavi on Nico Gonzalez
We’re following him and he’s made significant growth. He’s doing perfectly because it’s practically the same system. He’s at Valencia and he has competition, but he’s being important. He decided to go play and get minutes and he will get get them.
Xavi on the World Cup break
We think that there are two seasons in one. We will be a month and a half without competition. Nobody has experienced it before in football. We will try to adapt.
Xavi on Gavi
He’s fine, he has a small knock but he never complains. He always wants to play. He’s available tomorrow, but we’ll see what he can play.
Xavi on Pablo Torre
He’s playing really well. He hasn’t let his head drop. He’s a very strong player. He can play between the lines, he can shoot, the problem is he hasn’t had many minutes. He will go on and play, we have a lot of confidence in him, and he’s a player that will be great.
Xavi on the ‘fear clause’ in Nico’s contract
I spoke with Nico and I thought he would have minutes here, but he wanted to play more. He’s our player. It’s a good decision by the club. We trust Nico a lot and we don’t want him to harm us. It’s a positive point and it’s a decision that we made.
Xavi on Barcelona’s patience
We will not stop working and I feel total confidence in the project. It is not what we expected. We have very high expectations and we have lost the Champions League. We are not in a good situation, we have to put up with the criticism and keep working. I have the confidence of the president, the board, Mateu and Jordi. I have no choice but to continue working.
Xavi on Balde
He’s at an extraordinary level. He’s shown a lot of maturity in the match, has great potentially, physically, technically, tactically, he’s improving a lot. He has great potential for the present and the future.
Xavi on if Nico could return in January
Yes, why not? We’ll talk to him. There’s still time for the winter market and we’ll have a break to work on it. We’ll decide how the team is doing. Now we’re focused on the four remaining games.
Xavi on Memphis and Christensen
They are pretty much ready. We will try and have them ready for Tuesday. To give them minutes without risk. We will maybe see them play against Almeria.
Xavi on Pedri
I see him happy, he is a key footballer for us. He has everything to succeed and he has to make the most of his potential. Despite being eliminated from the Champions League, he’s at a great level
Xavi on Bellerin
Sergi Roberto and Hector have a similar profile. He looks good physically. In the last game we all suffered.