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Xavi talks de Jong, Raphinha, Felix, Cubarsi following Barcelona 4-0 Getafe: “Still time to save the season”



Photo by Lluis Gene, via Getty

Barcelona played one of their best games in a long time today as they beat Getafe 4-0 at home to go into second place in La Liga.

While they took some time to grow into the game, the floodgates opened as soon as Raphinha opened the scoring. And if anything, the Madrid outfit were lucky that the Brazilian did not end up scoring two more after that.

Eventually, a goal-a-piece from Raphinha, Joao Felix, Frenkie de Jong, and Fermin Lopez helped cap off three points in style.

“I’m very happy. It was a very complete match, in attack and defence. We knew how to attack the spaces that they left,” Xavi spoke following the win, as quoted by MARCA.

“I’m very happy with how we evaded their high press and managed to create lots of chances. We made the difference.”

On his players: Raphinha, Felix, Cubarsi, de Jong, and others

Xavi spoke about his players one-by-one after this, name-checking Raphinha, Joao Felix, Pau Cubarsi, but first he gave an injury update on Ferran Torres.

“Ferran is coming back soon and he will continue to be important.”

Lamine Yamal was rested today in favour of Raphinha, who came back with a goal and an assist. Xavi explained his decision, not citing game-time as the reason, though.

“The key today was to attack the spaces in behind the defence. That is why Raphinha played over Lamine today.”

“Raphinha’s timing on the runs was very good. Joao…sometimes not. But still, he generated a lot for us.”

“We were searching for Joao and Raphinha in behind the spaces. They have more ability to make runs in behind rather than having a fourth midfielder up front,” he added.

Man of the match today. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

“The team was intense and fast, very good. Joao and Raphinha played in behind the defence, also Vitor Roque when he came on. It was crucial to attack that space.”

Xavi also mentioned Cubarsi, who was outstanding today, dropping an absolute defensive clinic on Getafe’s attack while showing his maturity on the ball, which is frankly, well beyond his years.

“Cubarsí is the best ball playing defender we have. It’s spectacular to watch him, and he’s only 17.”

“Cubarsí surprises you everyday. In your head, you think of the correct pass he should play, but then he goes on to make an even better pass. I’m sure that he’s good enough to make history at the club.”

The Spaniard has taken the place of Andreas Christensen, who has been playing as a defensive midfielder. The Dane was impressive in that role again today, and even came away with an assist.

“Christensen played very well. The key in that position is to stay well positioned defensively, and Andreas knows that very well. I think that his position is one of the reasons for the team’s recent improvement,” the coach said about him.

“I don’t know if Christensen is here to stay at the defensive midfielder position. Maintaining that level is the most difficult thing in football. Either way, he’s doing very well there. He’s simple, doesn’t miss passes, and he gives us a defensive solidity that we lacked.”

Xavi did not forget Frenkie de Jong, who was faultless in the second half, especially, scoring one, and essentially setting up Fermin’s goal at the end, as well.

“There are few players like Frenkie in the world. With his physical and technical qualities, you can play any style of football with him. I’m very relaxed when he has the ball. Sometimes he takes too many touches, but I know that he will not lose possession.”

On the rest of the season

As far as their season is concerned, Xavi seemed optimistic about La Liga and the Champions League after a performance like this, saying, “We’re putting pressure on Girona and Madrid. I think we will have options to win La Liga.”

“We’re still in time to save the season. The Champions League is open, it’s a 50-50, and we still have options in La Liga.”

One of the journalists reminded Xavi about his time as a player, saying, “20 years ago today, you were a Barça player. You started the season very badly, but ended up winning the title.”

Xavi, still understandably salty about the treatment from media, clapped back, saying, “I’m impressed. That’s the first positive thing you have ever said to me in 2 years. Thank you!”

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