Barcelona manager Xavi faced the press on Saturday to preview his team’s trip to Getafe next in La Liga.
The coach spoke out tomorrow’s opponents, rumors of Chelsea’s interest in Gavi, the possiblity of giving youngsters a chance and on loan defender Samuel Umtiti.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Getafe
Getafe are a really aggressive team. They have won many points at home. It will be a complicated game. They normally play with five at the back and that makes things difficult. We suffered a lot at home but we are going to try and create chances. I expect a difficult match.
Xavi on La Liga
We are excited to win this title. We are in a great situation. but we have to keep this lead. There are 10 games remaining, it’s really important for us to win many games to win the league.
Xavi on giving youngsters a chance
We will consider which players deserve to play. Some players from Barca B help us but we have a big squad, despite the injuries, to compete and win the matches. It’s not the moment to experiment. We have to be focused on winning the league.
Xavi on Pedri and De Jong
The players want to be with the squad. Next week most will be available. They could have forced this weekend but we decided to rest them a little bit more. They have a great attitude to play but we don’t want to risk anything.
Xavi on if he needs a right-back
They’ve all played really well there Kounde, Araujo, especially against Vinicius. The ones who have played there have done really well. We will have time to prepare for next season but now we are focused on the title. After winning the league we will start planning for next year. I am happy.
Xavi on Umtiti
It’s not the moment to talk about players who aren’t in our squad. We follow Samuel, he’s adapting well to the Italian league. He’s having minutes, which is what he needed, he’s on loan. We’ll have to see after the season.
Xavi on playing three forwards
It’s one possibility. What we have to do is create chances. It’s always difficult to play with a team who has five at the back. It’s going to be difficult but we have trained to try and create more chances in attack.
Xavi on if it’s a crucial time
We have a good advantage and the next 3-4 matches are crucial. If we win them then we will practically be champions, it doesn’t matter what our rivals do.
Xavi on Eric Garcia
He’s a center-back, he has done that his whole career, but we think he can adapt to that role of defensive midfielder. He plays well with the ball, he’s always in a good position, he’s good in the air. He wins many duels. We tested him in Elche and he did really well. He’s a fantastic professional and he gives me a lot of confidence because he’ll play well wherever he plays.
Xavi on a new contract
I’m happy if they value my work. We are talking and I talk a lot with the president, Mateu and Jordi. We have to be focused first of all on winning this league. We need to win this trophy for the stability of the club. Then we will have time to talk about my contract.
Xavi on Gavi’s future
I don’t think Gavi would be happy at another club. He has everything here. He is 18 years old. He’s a key player of our team. For me, he’s a footballer that is outstanding. I don’t know what he’ll decide but I think his future is here at the club.
Xavi on Lewandowski missing Pedri and Dembele
Absolutely. That’s normal. When you have two or three of your best players missing it always affects you. It has affected us a lot. You are talking about players who create many opportunities. For Robert and the rest of the forwards, they are key to our football, and it affects the team.
Xavi on Pep Guardiola
I think Pep is the best manager in the world, since he started. He is a special manager. For me, he’s outstanding, he always tries to change things. When you have Pep as a manager you always learn many things. I don’t want to compare myself to him. He’s had an extraordinary career and I’ve just started.
Xavi on selling Ansu or Ferran
We talk a lot with our players. They should be focused on this season. We haven’t planned yet for the next campaign. We still have a month or two in this competition. A lot of things can happen, football changes, we are now in one situation but next week we can be in another one. We have to work a lot and try to get a good win in Getafe.
Xavi on Estanis Pedrola
Everyone can be important, it depends on the training sessions, the feelings. If they don’t play with us they will play with Barca Atletic or the U-19 team. But there is a real possibility for them to have minutes.
Xavi on the left wing
I don’t think we have a lack of talent. I think we need to be brave to create chances. Jordi is really good in the final pass and we need to use him. Balde also creates many chances. We need to use all of them.
Xavi on if Busquets is waiting for Messi’s decision
The most important thing for me is to have Busquets calm and helping us. I don’t think he’s going to be thinking about the future of Messi, honestly. It’s difficult to decide, it’s always tough to say enough. But for me, he’s really important. If he continues he will continue being important for the team.
Xavi on missing Dembele
Absolutely. I already said that we are missing important players. Andreas, Frenkie, Pedri, Ousmane of course. He helps us a lot in attack. He helps us a lot and we are missing him, but that’s not an excuse.
Xavi on Pablo Torre’s future
We haven’t decided yet. We will decide once have achieved our objectives. We need to win many matches yet.
Xavi on Lewandowski fitness
Yes he has had some problems. In the morning [before Elche] he thought he wouldn’t be able to play. He made a big effort, he showed his commitment. It’s not the first time he’s played with some problems. Yes it probably affected him.