Xavi spoke to the press on Saturday ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga clash at Espanyol.
The Barcelona boss discussed winning the league title this weekend, Sergio Busquets’s departure and the form of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Espanyol
We are really excited to win this league and tomorrow we have this chance in a derby. We expect a really aggressive Espanyol. They have improved, picked a great technician, signing Luis as manager. They defend well, play well on the counter, they can keep the ball, a really tough team. They are fighting to beat the drop and we are trying to be champions.
Xavi on how the team is feeling
We are at 200%. We are training well, really excited, we want to win this league. A really important trophy for the club. It would be a great season if we win the league.
Xavi on if he’s extra-motivated to win at Espanyol
I’m motivated to win the league, I don’t really care where. We are not going to win the league against Espanyol but against all the rivals we played. Tomorrow would be confirmation after a great season.
Xavi on Busquets
For Sergio it’s going to be important this trophy, leaving after winning the league. His departure hurts us as a team, but he is right with his decision, as well as being a friend, he is the most intelligent player I have ever played with. He has been a 10 in everything, in conduct, delivery, attitude, football. He is the best midfielder in the history of Barça without a doubt. It always seemed a massive injustice to me that he was never among the nominees for the Ballon d’Or. There is a lot of injustice in football and that was one of them.
Xavi on Mateu Alemany leaving
It’s an important absence but it’s a personal decision. He has another offer and has decided to leave. I wish him the best. He will keep working hard with us until the summer. It’s been a pleasure working with Mateu.
Xavi on Busquets leaving being an end of an era
I think we are starting a new era in this sense. We are working now to have another great era in midfield, like Gavi, Pedri - these footballers can also beat us and be better than us. We have great players from La Masia, especially in midfield.
Xavi on if Jordi Cruyff will stay
I have tremendous faith in him. I think he’s a loyal professional, really capable and effective with his job. Now he has to decide about his future, depending on how his sporting structure ends up. But, until today, he’s been a pivotal figure in the club. Personally, he’s helped me a lot. Whether he stays or leaves, he has to be rated. It’s a choice for the president. We are still focused on La Liga, but the club will decide in the future, knowing that we need to restructure the sporting direction.
Xavi on Ter Stegen’s form this season
He has recovered his best level. He’s an incredible goalkeeper, top class, we’ve just tried to give him confidence, not just between the sticks, also playing and starting moves from the back and understanding our way of playing.
Xavi on transfers
The priority is always to look for reinforcements at home. To sign from outside the player has to be better than what’s in the academy, because for us that’s the priority.
Xavi on Deco replacing Alemany
There is nothing decided on Deco, there is nothing, it will be communicated, the only sure thing is that Alemany leaves.
Xavi on Pique joining title celebrations
We have thought about it and we will invite Gerard Pique so that he can celebrate the title, it is a special case because he retired, others went to other teams in December.
Xavi on Dembele
He is one hundred percent, he has trained very well.
Xavi on Busquets part 2
Busquets is the best midfielder I’ve ever seen, when he wasn’t nominated for the Ballon d’Or it was an injustice.