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Xavi talks Ansu Fati, João Félix, Ronald Araujo and Deco ahead of Cádiz clash

The boss spoke to the press on Friday


Barcelona boss Xavi Hernández faced the media ahead of his team’s La Liga home opener against Cádiz on Sunday. Xavi decided to change the team’s training schedule this week and gave his press conference two days before the game to have one more training session behind closed doors at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium to finalize preparations for the game.

Xavi won’t be on the sidelines as he serves the first of a two-game ban following his red card and post-match rant on the officiating after last week’s season opener against Getafe, and he addressed his suspension and many other topics during his pre-match presser.

Here are the highlights from Xavi’s quotes:

On Cádiz

We arrive well for this one. We have trained with a lot of intensity to try and surprise Cádiz. Sergio is a great coach, they play with a 4-4-2 in a low block and are very well organized. We hope to give them our best version.

We go with the intention to attack and create overloads, with very wide wingers. Nothing will change. Cádiz defend the box really well and are very good on set pieces. Sergio is a very good coach and will make it tough on Sunday.

On Mateu Alemany’s departure and Deco’s arrival

I’ve known about Mateu for days. It’s the club’s decision, but we worked really well together. Mateu did an extraordinary job. There is no Barça today without Mateu or Jordi Cruyff. As for Deco, it’s a lie that I don’t have a good relationship with him. I really like him, I think we’ll work well together. I like Deco just as I liked Mateu and Jordi. I wish Mateu the best wherever he goes.

On João Félix

I can’t give you any names. The sporting department knows what we think is the best for the team. We’ll see if we can strengthen.

On his suspension

I have to accept the ban. I don’t want to create any more controversy. It’s now in the past and I’m focused on what I can control. I have to control myself a little more in the technical area during matches.

On pending registrations

Iñigo Martínez will be with the group next week. We remain optimistic about the registrations, we’re continuing to work on them. We’ll see if we can register Marcos Alonso and Iñaki Peña before Sunday.

On his contract extension

On a scale of 0 to 10, it’s at a 10. No problems.

On Ronald Araujo’s injury and the impact of Barça’s busy schedule

Ronald got injured during training. We have to try and minimize the absences. His recovery time will depend on how he feels. I believe he’ll be back after the international break. Araujo’s injury happened during a mini-match in training, during a sprint. It was not related to the Getafe match.

The schedule is very demanding. The other day Pep Guardiola was saying the same thing, and he’s completely right. We don’t think about the footballers as much as we think about the business. Football is about footballers, and a lot is put on them when it comes to the schedule and this is not good for the spectacle. The footballers should hold all the power.

On Neymar

You keep asking me about people who aren’t in my team. I can’t tell you any more. I wish Neymar the best of luck.

On Gavi’s handball against Getafe

I don’t regret anything I said. Sometimes I can be a little too honest. Everyone saw it. It was never a handball by Gavi, not for a moment.

On Ansu Fati

This is a joke, right? I’ve already been very clear when talking about Ansu, and you keep generating nonsensical debates. Ansu is part of the club’s heritage and a very important player. He’s the present and future.

On the right-back search

The sporting department knows what we need and we’ll keep working at it. Whatever Financial Fair Play allows us, we’ll do.

On the coaching staff logistics during his suspension

Òscar Hernández and Sergio Alegre will be in charge, they are very well prepared. We are in constant communication with our analysts and our way of thinking doesn’t change much. We are trying to find the best spot for me to watch the match.

On Oriol Romeu

I am very happy with Ori. He gives us defensive balance and great poise on the ball. He’s a very mature footballer, a leader, obsessed with the work. He’s been a great signing for the club.

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