Since Xavi Hernandez’s appointment at Barcelona, the Catalans are climbing the La Liga ladder step by step. This time, however, the Spanish manager will give a test in the Copa del Rey against Linares Deportivo – a division B side.
Xavi spoke in the press conference ahead of the game, addressing Ousmane Dembélé’s situation at the club, Philippe Coutinho’s exit, Ansu Fati’s fitness, and more.
On the game: “It is a difficult, complicated game. Linares play at home, with their fans. They are a smaller team, but they will be extra motivated.”
On Ousmane Dembele: “I am calmly waiting for news about Dembele. I can’t do more on my part. He should make an effort and think about his future, which I think is at Barça. This is the best sports project for him. Nowhere will he be as happy as at Barça. Let’s see what he decides.”
On the club’s current situation: “I am with Laporta, I am very optimistic. I like that he is positive and ambitious. We are working very well and close to the goal of entering the Champions League spots. We are working hard to return Barça back to where it deserves.”
“We are fifth and we are coming back little by little. The signing of Ferran Torres makes the fans excited. We must follow the president, it is a positive message to say that we have returned. It is the mentality. We must be positive.”
On Dani Alves: “I see him very well. He is spectacular in training, with a lot of intensity and professionalism. He will help us a lot with his arrivals on the wing. He is 38 years old, but as is training will help us in many games.”
On Marc-André Ter Stegen: “I told him that ball I could save as well (laughs). It is good for his confidence. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and can fail. It is a matter of confidence. I have no doubt that he will be at his best level.”
On Riqui Puig: “I am very happy with Riqui Puig. He played a very good game in Mallorca, there is a lot of competition. He already knows what I ask of him and he will have minutes, I have a lot of confidence in him.”
On Memphis Depay and Ansu Fati: “Ansu and Memphis will not be with us for tomorrow, but they are very close to returning. If their return is not in Granada, it will be in the next game.”