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Xavi talks Busquets, Pedri, Pique ahead of Espanyol vs Barcelona: “The most intelligent player”



Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona have the chance to win their first La Liga trophy since the 2018/19 season should they get all three points against Espanyol tomorrow. The RCDE Stadium will be hosting the Catalans, with the game considered ‘high risk’.

“Tomorrow is a chance to win the league, we are determined. Tomorrow is our chance. We expected a fierce Espanyol because they have improved recently,” Xavi said about the game.

“We are 200% ready, very happy, and intense. Tomorrow is our first chance to win the league. It would be a great season if we complete it.”

Should Barcelona win the league, ideally, their opponents in the next four games would give them a guard of honour. Xavi has always been in favour of it, and reiterated it today, saying:

“You already know my opinion on that. It’s an act of respect for the winner even to express admiration. We did it with Betis last year, and I did it for Madrid as a player at the Santiago Bernabeu.”

One of the main talking points this week for Barcelona has been Sergio Busquets’ decision to leave the club at the end of the season. The captain has been with the first team since 2008, and is leaving behind a legacy that is largely unparalleled.

“I respect Busquets’ decision and wish him all the best,” Xavi paid his respect to the legendary defensive midfielder.

“Busquets is the most intelligent player I have ever played with. He’s been a ten in everything, spectacular.”

Busquets’ exit brings the end to the legendary Barcelona midfield of Xavi-Busquets-Iniesta, but the coach, for one, hopes the likes of Gavi and Pedri can surpass them.

“We are working on another era to come. Hopefully, footballers like Gavi or Pedri can surpass us. This is what sports and life is all about.”

This also coincides with Mateu Alemany’s departure from the club, as the sporting director is expected to join Aston Villa, who have reportedly quadrupled his salary. Xavi also commented on the same.

“In Mateu Alemany, we lose a very important asset. He has been instrumental in the restructuring of the club, we have worked very well and his departure is a significant blow.”

“I wish him all the best. I has been a pleasure working with Mateu.”

Not to forget Gerard Pique, who decided to retire mid-way through the season when he realised he no longer had a place in Xavi’s starting lineup. The legendary defender will be a part of the celebrations at the Camp Nou, though, the gaffer confirmed.

“Pique is a special case because he retired. He did not go to another team as in other cases. We have thought about it and we will notify him to invite him to celebrate the league with us.”

Marc-Andre ter Stegen has not only been the best goalkeeper in La Liga, but is also one of the best players in the league this season.

“I think he has regained his level. He’s a fantastic goalkeeper, world class,” Xavi said. “We have tried to give him all the confidence and not only is he being important in goal, but he is also helping us with the output of the ball. He is spectacular.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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