Xavi was back in front of the media on Friday to discuss Barcelona’s clash with Elche in La Liga at the weekend.
The manager spoke about Ansu Fati’s dad’s recent comments, the possibility of Lionel Messi returning and the recent reports about a campaign against Gavi.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Elche
It’s always difficult to analyse a team when they have changed manager. They are bottom but it can be a tough game. They will be extra motivated. We may think this is done but we still have to work hard. It will be tough, away from home. They’ve been competing well.
Xavi on Yuste’s comments about Messi
I don’t think it’s the moment to talk about Leo Messi coming back to Barca. I talk to him often, as we are friends, but it’s not a good moment for us or Leo to talk about this. We are working on it. I have a great relationship with Leo. But to have him back would be difficult. Hopefully, we will enjoy Messi here again. I would be the first one to be happy if he comes back because it’s the club of his life, he’s the best player in history. Let’s be focused on Elche and Madrid. It’s time to finish the job.
Xavi on Ansu Fati
I have talked to Ansu. He’s calm, focused on the team. I’m worried about Ansu, not about his dad or his agent or his family. I want him to be happy. He’s OK, he’s working hard. I don’t give much importance to his dad’s words. I’ve eperienced similar things when I was a player. The most important thing is Ansu and he is happy, working hard and focused on the project and he’s a great person. He’s helping us a lot. I want him to succeed at the club. We have good feelings.
Xavi on why Ansu’s not playing
Because this is Barca and there are really good players. Lewandowski, Ferran, Raphinha, Dembele. That’s Barca. A player has to understand that now we can introduce five substitutions, we can change systems, dynamics. In 30 minutes you can change the match. Ansu is participating. We need patience, not just for Ansu. He’s just 20 years old.
Xavi on a campaign against Gavi?
He’s happy with us. He’s an incredible player. He has incredible passion and an incredible attitude. Probably it’s because he is a Barca player. We are happy, we are proud of Gavi. He’s only 18. He will have an incredible career. He’s one of the best players in Spain at this moment. One of the best midfielders in the world. No doubts at all. I don’t really know anything about campaigns.
Xavi on Ansu’s Dad Part 2
This can happen. We all makes mistakes. I make mistakes. But you apolgize, you think and the most important thing is Ansu. I’m only concerned about him. He’s well and he’ll be important for the remaining matches.
Xavi on Messi
It doesn’t depend on myself. It depends on Leo. He has won everything. It depends on his happiness. If he wants to come back we need to talk. I have a great relationship with him and if he decides he wants to come back we will try to fit him in the squad. And I will try to help him to be here.
Xavi on if he’s asked Barca to sign Messi
We haven’t talked about next season. We are focused on this year. We are close to winning trophies and now you are asking me about signings. Let’s talk about important things. Tomorrow we can increase the gap to 15 points and then on Wednesday we can reach the final. I don’t know why we aren’t talking about this.
Xavi on injuries
Today we have important players out injured but we still have time. They won’t be ready for tomorrow, we will try to recover them for the following matches. Pedri and Dembele depend on their feelings and Frenkie and Andreas too. Raphinha is suspended.
Xavi on Ansu’s dad being unfair?
I am really confident with Ansu I know how he trains. I know what he’s capable of doing. He can make the difference in every single match. We want the best level of Ansu and all our players. I have been talking a lot with him. I try to have them happy so they can play at their best.
Xavi on Araujo to play against Elche?
It will depend on how he feels. He’s been working with the group today. We will talk to him tomorrow and we’ll see. We’ll decide tomorrow.
Xavi on Garrido and Estanis in the squad
Aleix deserves to be in the squad list. Estanis is a winger who can play both sides. Aleix’s talent is in the last pass. He’s a really talented player. The final pass is what we are missing the most when we don’t have Pedri.
Xavi on Pablo Torre
Pablo is a really talented player. Also he’s best at taking set-pieces, a great footballer. He can help us a lot, let’s see if he can have minutes in the next games.
Xavi on it’s is financially possible to sign Messi
It will depend on many aspects. We are still waiting to know our Fair Play for next season. But the most important aspect is Messi. It’s home for him. We would be happy to have him back, but there are many things we need to control.
Xavi on if he’s in love with Messi
Yes of course. I have seen Leo grow. I know the importance of him as a footballer. He’s an example in many different aspects and of course we are all excited. To have a last dance at Barca like Michael Jordan.
Xavi on Eric Garcia as a midfielder
I’ve been thinking about that position for Eric. I talked to him, he can adapt well to this position. Something similar to what happened with Rafa Marquez, he plays well with the ball, he wins duels, he can adapt well to his position.
Xavi on Jordi Alba
He’s helping the team in another way. He always used to play. Balde has been playing more but Jordi will be important. He can help us a lot. If he plays or if he doesn’t. He’s one of the captains. It’s hard when you don’t play but we are happy with him.