Xavi in the press conference before tomorrow’s against Royal Antwerp in UCL.
“It is a privilege to be in this competition, last year we were biased towards the domestic competitions, not the european ones. It is the perfect scenario, it is the competition that will help us take the step forward. We start at home after our best version in play and we want to continue along the same path.”
“The first year we did not have enough to compete, last year we did have enough to compete but the results did not happen like we wanted to. This season we want to take the leap.”
“The objective is clear, it is to advance from the group, then we will talk. We have to be in the round of 16 pot, it is our main objective after two years without doing so. It is the clear objective, to try to pass as the first of the group.”
“In play and in results. Last year in play we were good but the result was not enough. We have strengthened ourselves well and we have a squad to compete in Europe, but it is not about words, it is about actions.”
Xavi on Van Bommel.
“I have great memories as a teammate and as a rival, he was a very physically strong footballer. He was a good teammate and a good friend. He is doing a good job at Antwerp.”
Xavi on personal pressure.
“Me? Yes, always, I have to prove in every game, this is Barça. We all have extraordinary pressure but it is a challenge and I like challenges. They are challenges that I set myself as a coach and as a team.”
Xavi on Barca’s attack.
“In the end, it is a blessed problem that there are many people in great shape, performing at a high level. It is difficult to make the starting eleven, but those who start are just as important as those who start in the second half.”
Xavi on Ferran.
“He told me that he needed to have a very good preseason, that he was convinced that he could give his best and he would prove it. We are not surprised because we have seen him train.”
Xavi on the UCL group.
“Last year we had bad luck in the draw, the group was really complicated, this year we have to prove it, tomorrow we play against the champion of the Belgian League, they are a very good team. It is a validation for us to show that “In the Champions League we can compete against anyone.” “
Xavi on Araujo’s availability.
“On Saturday he will be available on the list.”
Xavi on his message to the fans.
“It’s easy for the players because they are very plugged into the competition, it is palpable in their faces, the footballers are plugged in. Let them enjoy it, let them have fun. We promise the fans work and sacrifice and make them enjoy it like they did on Saturday, and give it continuity. The team and the public were 10.”
Xavi on his feeling.
“I am always positive, I am from birth. I am motivated and excited and now to curb the euphoria a little as well, tell the players that they have done many things well but they must be corrected afterwards.”
“I don’t have the feeling of having lost prestige, when I went to the Bayern or Inter camp I noticed that they had respect for us. We have to win more, yes, but last year we won the league. We have to take a step forward in this competition that we have not won since 2015.”
Xavi on Joao Felix.
“As a coach, if there is no attitude there is no place in the team. He who does not have an attitude cannot be in Barcelona. Joao’s attitude is like everyone’s, positive and eager to work and help.”
Xavi on Pedri.
“Pedri is doing very well, he has very good feelings, he still has a little more to do, I can’t give a date because it depends on the feelings, but the important thing is that he recovers well and that he is with us as soon as possible, as best as possible.”
Xavi on the demand.
“Both things, improve in the competition and win. We must improve and compete better, the main objective is to reach the round of 16 and play well. Saturday is proof that by playing that way we can compete. Then in the round of 16 We’ll see but first we have to get through.”
“Hopefully the turning point will come and we will give our best version. If we play at the level of Saturday in Europe we will be able to compete. At the level of the Super Cup against Madrid last year, too. We have to give continuity to the level of the game.”
Xavi on his references of coaches.
“I have learned a lot from most coaches. At the group management level, the one I learned the most from was Luis Aragonés. At a motivational level and talking to the players, he was number 1 in this sense.”
Xavi on the team’s mental level.
“Seeing the happy faces of the footballers, enthusiasm is the word I see in the team. A lot of enthusiasm and a lot of desire and I hope we can take the definitive step.”
Xavi on the renewals of Balde and Yamal.
“As far as I know, they are very well underway and there will be news soon.”
“There is a demand and the bar is very high. It is the consequence of Barça in recent years, of our time as a footballer where we won 4 Champions Leagues from 2006 to 2015. We like challenges but the demand of Barça is beastly, it is the consequence of inheriting a brilliant period, the best in the history of this club.”