Barcelona boss Xavi Hernández could not be on the sidelines for his team’s first win of the La Liga season, a 2-0 triumph over Cádiz at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium, but still spoke to the press after the game and was in a very positive mood.
The coach was satisfied with his team’s overall showing and praised several individual performances as well, including 16-year-old Lamine Yamal who shined in his first start for the club.
Here are the highlights from Xavi’s post-match quotes.
On the win vs. Cádiz
It felt like it wouldn’t go in, but it finally did. The game was resolved thanks to the interior game and the final pass. The five substitutions were key to the victory.
On the team’s performance
I am satisfied because we played with pure wingers and many midfielders, which is what I like. I am happy with the match. We spoke the day before about it being a day to hold the position. We had to keep one of their center-backs stuck in his position. In the second half we had more patience but we circulated the ball quicky as well, which is what we needed. In the second half we were better at the positional game, we took risks and then Gündogan made the final pass to Pedri.
On Pedri’s goal and Gündogan’s pass
This is what was missing last year. Gavi, Pedri, even Oriol [Romeu] have to try a little more. We played a lot outside and it’s good that the goal came from the inside. That’s why we signed Gündogan. I am happy with the positional work, but we have to wait for the oportune moment a little more. The game was very good and a much deserved win.
On Lamine Yamal
I see him ready, he’s so mature for his age. He can make a difference for us. The only reason he didn’t score is Ledesma had his best game of the season. We need to take care of him, but he is a talent and being only 16 years old is not a problem.
On Robert Lewandowski
He needs to be more patient. When minutes go by and you don’t touch the ball you get desperate, but he needs to touch it in the right place. He needs a goal, as do all forwards.
On playing Frenkie de Jong as a center-back
I wanted to take a risk. As a center-back, he is the best at making decisions and running through the lines. With the 4-4-2 they were in, he was practically the free man and he understood that.
On Ferran Torres
He is an example of work and sacrifice. I tell them to always be ready and he is an example of that. He has always been an example.
On Ansu Fati
He had a very good half-hour, with dynamic play, he had a chance. All five changes were key.
On Spain’s Women’s World Cup win
I join in on the congratulations, all the praise is not enough for what they deserve. I am happy for Jorge Vilda, Rubiales, the players and the pioneers who started playing football in this country. It made me very emotional.