Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez faced reporters on Friday to talk about the transfer window and his team’s next La Liga game against Sevilla.
The manager discussed the transfer window, rumors about Jordi Alba’s future, Aubameyang’s departure, and new arrivals Hector Bellerin and Marcos Alonso.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Sevilla
Tomorrow we have a difficult away game. We already know how hard it is to win there. They are a Champions League calibre team. I think they’ve had an unfair start, they should have more points. I think they will come out more aggressively and intensely and I think they will push us. We need to show our best version to get three points. It’s a big test for us.
Xavi on if he’s happy with his team now
I feel a bit liberated both with regards the players that have come in and gone out. The club has made a tremendous effort. Mateu, Jordi and all the staff are very content and happy. We have a competitive sqaud and now we have to prove it out on the pitch.
Xavi on Jordi Alba
Jordi is another player in the squad. He’ll be important for us. He’s a player who is key, with his experience and his talent, his commitment to the group. As a captain I have no complaints. He’ll play for sure, there will be injuries and sanctions, so no player is safe from everything. The players who will play will be the ones who are in the best condition. It will be based on meritocracy. Look at the titles he has won. We want to make sure the team benefits from all the players.
Xavi on his verdict on the transfer window
It’s between the best scenario and the medium one because one player was missing. Like I said, I’m super satisfied, I have no complaints. The club made a titanic effort to get the transfers that we wanted. The financial levers helped. I’m very happy with the job done.
Xavi on Pique
He’s calm. He’s training well, particularly this week he trained really well. Yesterday he had a very positive session for him personally. He’s going to help us. We are one big family and we have to row in the same direction. With regards his personal life I want to make sure he’s happy and that he comes with joy to the sessions.
Xavi on Memphis
I spoke with Memphis three or four weeks ago. It’s easy to talk to him, he has a lot of experience, he’s a natural leader, he’s fully committed, he’s a winner, he trains well. His minutes will depend on him, his performances, how he trains and the staff will decide. We all start from zero.
Xavi on Barca’s left-backs
I want Jordi here on the team, as a captain and as a person. I’m very close to him. He’s a leader and will help us a lot whether he plays or not. I never thought he’d leave. Last year we had Alves, Sergi Roberto and Dest, we managed it well. This year the calendar is even more compressed so there will be chances for all the players. Jordi, we can change him in different systems, Balde as well, Marcos can play in different positions but yes it’s true we have three players for one spot.
Xavi on Bellerin and Alonso
I wanted pure wing-backs that was what was urgently needed. A right-back was needed because we didn’t have a pure one. Bellerin was formed here, he’s a great professional. He’s a good teammate and I think will help us. Marcos the same. He has a certain edge, comes from Chelsea, he can play in different positions. I’m very happy. We needed to strengthen those positions and we have.
Xavi on if the one player missing was Bernardo
All of us, the staff, the players, made a tremendous effort and sacrifice to come here. It’s been a difficult transfer market and many other players are here that I asked for. I can’t talk about the players I don’t have.
Xavi on Aubameyang
I feel bad for all the players that left, all were professional, including those that I said in May I didn’t count on them. They trained well, they had respect, had a great attitude, I had no problems with any of them. Yes in particular Aubameyang. I feel bad because he helped us a lot. He was an example on and off the pitch. He made a big difference, look at his numbers, as a person he’s a jewel, always training with a smile on his face. Yes it’s a shame, these kinds of players you want in your squad but it was a good opportunity for him and the club as well. In the end I think we are all happy but I feel bad as a trainer to lose a player like Aubameyang. He was an example for the entire club and all the players.
Xavi on Eric Garcia
He gives us a lot of security, he always choses the right option. He’s very alert, he pays attention for the full 90 minutes. At just 22 he could be a captain. I don’t need to correct a lot with him. Training players like Eric is a luxury. He has a lot of competition but he’s playing at a very high level.
Xavi on Pjanic
I think he can help us. He’s a good professional, trains well. I like his personality, the way he plays. He will have to compete with the others. It will be difficult for all these players to have minutes but of course I count on him.
Xavi on who will play right-back tomrrow
I already know. If there’s no setbacks in these final sessions I have several options but I know who will play tomorrow. Hector can help us too. It will depend on different systems. But tomorrow I already know.