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Xavi talks Fati, Lewandowski, Balde, Alba, Matias Messi ahead of Villarreal vs Barcelona

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Xavi-ball has taken La Liga by storm this season as Barcelona continue to cruise past opponents with ease.

They are currently sitting eight points clear on top of La Liga, and could be 11 points adrift of Real Madrid by the time Carlo Ancelotti’s men return to play on 15th February.

For that, however, they will have to overcome Quique Setien’s Villarreal. The Yellow Submarines have lost their last two games and would be looking to get back onto winning ways tomorrow.

Ahead of this fixture, Xavi spoke to the media as part of his pre-game press conference.

On the game: “Villarreal are a great team with a philosophy very similar to ours. Parejo is an extraordinary player and Pepe Reina is very good with his feet.”

On Ansu Fati: “Ansu Fati is non-transferable, like everyone in the squad right now. He’s a very important player. I have tremendous hope.”

“We expect a lot from him, I have blind confidence in him. I have it with everyone. We have been shaping the squad based on what I have wanted.”

On Sergio Busquets: “With Busquets there will be no problem. He knows that he’s very important to us. He’s a living legend of the club. It’s his decision.”

On Franck Kessie: “Kessié has been patient and the other day made a difference. I had a lot of patience. The new generations want to go too fast. They are at the best club in the world.”

On Sergi Roberto: “It’s great having Roberto in the team. He can play in various positions and never complains. We’re closing in on a renewal.”

On Alejandro Balde: “Balde? I have spoken with him today in a one-on-one meeting. We have no problems or nerves. He wants to stay.”

On Robert Lewandowski: “Lewandowski brings leadership, a champion mentality and a habit of winning titles. Losing doesn’t enter his head and that’s contagious.”

On prioritising La Liga over Europa League: “I don’t prioritize La Liga over the Europa League. We want to win every game and we give the same importance to all competitions.”

On Frenkie de Jong: “This is the best version of Frenkie since we’ve been here, in both attack and defence. He has brutal confidence.”

On Setien’s Barcelona tenure: “I don’t know. I was focused on my work in Qatar. It was a matter of results. If we don’t win, what happened to him will happen to me.”

On Jordi Alba: “Alba is one of the leaders and a professional player and when he participates he plays very well, very happy with his roles on and off the pitch.”

On Marc-Andre ter Stegen vs Valdes: “Valdes was a pioneer with the ball at his feet. He marked an era. Ter Stegen still has many years ahead of him and extraordinary maturity. I would take them both.”

On the formation tomorrow: “I never explain the team’s ideas in advance but we will decide tomorrow. Busquets’ loss is important, we will miss him especially when it’s time to pause.”

On Leo Messi’s brother: “Sometimes we make mistakes. I’m the first to apologize when I make a mistake. Matías Messi did it and we shouldn’t give him more importance.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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