Barcelona are in complete control of La Liga this season, 11 points clear on top of the table. Having come off a brilliant 4-0 win over Real Betis, Xavi’s men will now take on Osasuna on the opening day of gameweek 33.
Ahead of the game, Xavi spoke to the media as part of his pre-game press conference, saying, “We analysed them, they are a very tough team. On Saturday, they will play a very important match, perhaps the most important match in their history. Their season is great and it will be a difficult match.”
Osasuna are set to face Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final this weekend, and Xavi was asked who he would prefer winning between the two sides. He replied cheekily, saying, “What do you think..?
Lamine Yamal has been called up to the Barcelona first-team once again, having made his debut against Betis on the weekend. “Lamine is a boy who has his feet on the ground. He is cheerful and positive. His head is focused and I see him as first team material,” Xavi said about him.
He also heaped praise on Robert Lewandowski, who was on target against Rayo Vallecano and Betis, saying, “His last two games have been great and overall his season has been amazing.”
Ez Abde will be one of the players to keep an eye out for tomorrow. Currently playing for Osasuna, the Moroccan is a Barcelona player on loan, and will likely return to the first-team next season.
“With Abde, we will decide at the end of the season. He has matured a lot, he has progressed in his career and it has been a very good loan. He has a lot of talent to succeed at Barça, he has the conditions to stay here but it also depends on his mentality,” Xavi said about him.
Ancelotti praised Barcelona for their league season during his pre-game presser, and Xavi was asked to comment on his words.
“Football professionals know that the league is won by the best and the most solvent team. The ‘KO’ competitions are more unfair. I thank Ancelotti for his words.”
Xavi also praised a fair few players during his presser, including Andreas Christensen, Pedri Raphinha and Marc-Andre ter Stegen..
“Christensen is one of the best signings for Barcelona in recent years, without a doubt,” he said.
“The problem is that Pedri is a special and differential player. I wish we could have two or three ‘Pedris’. We have to improve collectively even if we can’t count on him or other important footballers like Dembele,” he added.
“Rafa is very important and they have played matches together with Dembélé. Rafa is having a great season”
“In a team like Barça that is exposed defensively with a high line, we have been in spectacular defensee. I will be very happy for Marc if he succeeds”.