Xavi faced the press on Saturday to chat about all things Barcelona ahead of his team’s La Liga clash at Valencia.
The Barcelona boss spoke about Ronald Araujo’s fitness, praised Ferran Torres, Pedri, and Frenkie de Jong and also offered his thoughts on Ilaix Moriba.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Valencia
We need to impose our rhythm, move the ball quickly. Valencia are a team with a great coach. They work well, they have high intensity, it’s going to be a tough game, lots of duels, very aggressive. We’ll try to impose our will but it’s a tough game at a tough stadium.
Xavi on Araujo
We’re optimistic. He’s going to train today. He’s very committed. We hope he feels well. It’ll depend on how he feels in training but he wants to play and if there’s nothing strange going on we’ll be able to count on him tomorrow.
Xavi on Sergi Roberto future
I’ve said it many times. Sergi is a player who has to stay at the club. This is something the club needs to deal with. It depends on him, the economics, but in terms of football there are no doubts he’s an important player for me for the future of Barca.
Xavi on finishing in the top four
Every game is a final for us. Our first objective is to be in the top four. Tomorrow is another final especially with the circumstances right now. We need to prepare as much as possible. We’ll analyze Valencia, where they can hurt us, it’s very important for us to take three points tomorrow.
Xavi on Ferran Torres
Yes we talked and we have total confidence in him. He’s a great player, I have no doubts, we have to help him, he’s young and we must believe in him. I have confidence that he’s going to make the difference. He’s done it for Spain, he did it at Manchester City and he will do it at Barca as well. There’s no question about his quality. We have to train, prepare, in terms of finishing which is what the team is struggling with right now but I have no doubts that he will score important goals.
Xavi on Frenkie de jong
For me Frenkie is a great player. He’s helping us a lot. He’s made a big step forwards since we arrived. He’s more dynamic, he’s not losing the ball, he works in defense, he gets into the box, he scores goals, he’s Frenkie. He’s a player who can make the difference, he’s destined to be here many years and he’s going to bring a lot to us. In midfield there’s a lot of physical demand but he’s at a great level. He’s very self-critical, self-demanding, he wants to improve and that’s great. He’s going to continue to improve. No doubts.
Xavi on Ilaix Moriba
Everyone decides their own future. Being at Barca, people can make the mistake of leaving the best club in the world, that’s what I think. That’s his decision and we have to respect that. He has a chance now to prove himself at Valencia. It’s a shame. We wish him the best of course.
Xavi on if Dembele will start
Yes I do think so. It might be tomorrow or Thursday. I think it’s not news anymore, the other day, the boos turned into applause so that’s great. We are going to use him. He’s played well, he’s been dynamic, he’s had the conviction we demand from a winger. He’s going to help us a lot.
Xavi on Memphis return
We are waiting for him. He had a complicated injury. He’s almost ready, if not tomorrow then against Napoli or Athletic. He’s going to help us. He can make the final pass, score, get in the box, he’s another player to add to the cause.
Xavi on Pedri needing rest
Yes, we will try to make sure Pedri does not to get too fatigued. He’s very important and he needs to recover. We will try to take care of him and ensure he doesn’t get injured again. The other day he played a truly fantastic game.
Xavi on Luuk de Jong
Luuk has scored five goals with us since we took over. He’s played very well. It’s important to train well, and he’s very professional in that sense. When he’s had the opportunity he’s done well.