Barcelona boss Xavi spoke to reporters on Friday to preview his team’s La Liga clash against Real Mallorca.
The Catalans are back in action after the international break but will be without several key players due to injury.
Xavi spoke about his injured players, his options at right-back and how Ansu Fati has been dealing with his Spain snub.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on right-back options
We have various options. We’ll see how Sergi is. We have also some central defenders that can play in those position or left-backs. We will see what options we have and base our decisions on that.
Xavi on Dembele
Dembele is fine, he can play without problems
Xavi on injures
It frustrates me, yes, but you have to think positively. There are many reasons, the calendar, different training, fatigue, the trips. We are not the only club with injured players. We hope they recover as soon as possible. I’ve already told them they will all be important and now even more so with these four players who are missing.
Xavi on Kounde
With Koundé, as with everyone, it’s about him coming back well, without a deadline.
Xavi on Casado
He’s prepared. Balde is 18 as well and he’s playing. He’s from the youth squad, from La Masia, he’s prepared, he’s ready to play. I’m talking with Rafa Marquez, he’s doing a great job, I’ve seen a lot of them train this week. They are ready to play regardless of their age.
Xavi on Inter
We still have time to recuperate some players. Hopefully they can recover in these next matches. We have a fantastic medical staff and we want the players to recover 100%. It’s unfortunate, we try cover each detail but sometimes things get away from us.
Xavi on Araujo
Araujo’s injury is the one that saddens me the most, because of what he contributed to the team and the time he will be out. It’s a shame. The other players too. That’s football, there are injuries, we have to accept it.
Xavi on Busquets
I said last season, he said it already. He said he will decide at the end of the season. It depends how this season goes, the World Cup. He will put things into perspective. He’s very important for my system.
Xavi on the schedule
It’s a very important time. 12 games, and it’s going to be very demanding, esecially in the Champions League. The league as well. We need to compete. These 8 league games are very important. Not definitive but very important.
Xavi on Balde
All the game are very demanding. They are all worth three points. It depends on the game, the circumstances, the moment. I’ve told you many times we will rotate because of the schedule. All the players are important and they need to be prepared.
Xavi on replacing Kounde with a midfielder
There are various options. Sergi I see more as a midfielder but he can play at right-back. Frenkie or Gavi can adapt to various positions. I have many options but I prefer a more defensive profile in that position.
Xavi on Casado
He is versatile with a lot of soul and he competes very well. Midfielder, full-back, even center back. He’s very positive for the team. He’s good for a coach because he’s another alternative. He’s a player I like very much.
Xavi on Ansu
He’s been great these two weeks. We didn’t train every day but when we did he was great. Great attitude, other players might have been down, but his response was different. He took this as a fuel for motivation.