Barcelona coach Xavi spoke to the press on Friday to preview his team’s next La Liga game against Cadiz.
The manager discussed the match, Jordi Alba’s recent comments, the fitness of several of his players and the Antoine Griezmann situation.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Cadiz
It’s a difficult opponent, a very defensive opponent. The last four matches against them have been complicated, we have lost two and drawn two. Tomorrow is a good day to have a footballing revenge on this team.
Xavi on Jordi Alba
I can understand Jordi, but beyond statements he is very connected, he is very humble with his situation, very motivated and the other day he came out and he played well. He’s doing well and that’s the most important thing to me. He’s training like a professional and when he plays he plays well. He’s an important part of this group. We are counting on him.
Xavi on Griezmann situation
My opinion doesn’t change anything. It something Cholo has to deal with. I’ve not been involved. He was not a player under me, we haven’t spoken. We’ve had meetings about his situation but it’s something between the clubs. I can’t say any more.
Xavi on if he has too many options
No, no it’s great. We have a very deep squad. We have all of the positions doubled up at a very high level and that’s what I wanted. I always said it’s very expensive, it’s very difficult to get minutes at Barca because the group has to give the highest performance. It’s a problem for me to manage minutes, but it’s a welcome problem. The competition internally is very good for the group.
Xavi on Barca only conceding twice so far
It’s something we’ve been working on. It’s important for us that the defensive line is focused, pushing high, the transitions are good, there’s no opportunity for counter-attack. We need to keep pressing, defend the area well, we have improved our strategies and the team is growing this way.
Xavi on Alonso and Bellerin
They are doing really well. They will be with us tomorrow on the list. We’ll decide the team tomorrow, they have had a good week of physical training. They are feeling good, they are ready to help the team whether it’ll be 90, 30 or 10 minutes.
Xavi on if it’s better to have the experience of Lewandowski or the youth of Haaland
I don’t know, this is the way it’s worked out. It’s a privilege for me to have him him, how he works, he gets everyone involved. He’s won everything but having him here with his humility works for us and the youngsters. It’s extraordinary what he’s doing with the team.
Xavi on Jordi Alba part 2
I tried to be very clear with the players and with Jordi, I have a good relationship with him. I try to be honest and up front always. We talk a lot, I like talking to the players. He knows exactly what I want, and the competition at Barca. I want him to play as well as he can. I’ve always been very clear with Jordi. I don’t see a problem. There’s no controversy there.
Xavi on Ferran Torres
He’s really good, he’s an important player, he played really well the other day. This is someone you put demands on him and it’ll work out. He’s got a good work rate, he sacrifices a lot for the team. We count a lot on him. He’ll be involved with the team until the end of the season I’m sure of it.
Xavi on Ansu Fati
He’s good, he’s really good, played really well the other day, just needs a little bit more efficacy in front of goal. But there’s a lot of confidence, it’s a shame he didn’t score, but he’s an important player and he’ll play a lot. I speak to him a lot and he says he’s feeling really good and is 100%.
Xavi Sergi Roberto
Sergi’s playing really well. I’m very happy with him. He’s a bit of a wildcard I can play, he can play in any position, he never complains. He’s a guarantee for me in the squad. He has had a little bit of a knock. We’re not sure if we will call him up tomorrow but he’ll be ready for the Bayern match.
Xavi on Pique
It’s not an easy situation for him. He played really well in the second half, which isn’t easy after not playing, he will come on and help the team. This is what we need as a team and a group. It’s what will bring us success.
Xavi on if Pjanic exit has left Barca short
There are various options in that position. There’s Busi who is very important. Frenkie can play there, even Franck. We can even try Andreas, who has played for Denmark in that position.
Xavi on if he’ll rest Pedri
Tomorrow we will decide. We are going to train now and see how everyone is. It’s an option because he’s played a lot of matches in a row. There are a lot of players who have played a lot. We will see how they are doing and make the evaluations tomorrow. Pedri is playing really well, he’s enjoying it, helping out a lot in attack and defense.
Xavi on if Lewandowski could rest
We’ll see tomorrow, like I said before. For us Robert is a very important player for the group in any match.