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Xavi talks Lewandowski, Pique, Real Madrid, Luuk, Dest ahead of Barcelona vs Frankfurt



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

Xavi will hope Barcelona’s gasp winner in the last minute against Levante would serve some much-needed motivation in the team as they get ready to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals.

It will not be an easy task, though. Frankfurt made it clear that they were in it to win it, and would not be taken lightly, even at the Camp Nou. If anything, Villarreal’s sensational win against Bayern Munich yesternight should help Barcelona keep the eye on the ball at all times.


Ahead of the game, Xavi addressed questions from journalists as part of the traditional pre-game press conference. Join Barça Universal as we follow the quotes from the head coach.

On the game: “I think we have to improve in terms of losing the ball. We are playing in front of our fans and this is in our favour, but we must not find any excuses. We are working to prevent them from having the ball, and countering.”

“For them, it is the most important match in their history. We have to live up to the desire, this motivation they have to play against Barcelona. And tomorrow I hope the supporters will continue to show that they are on the same page.”

On the pitch: “The pitch did not help us in the first leg, but I expect it to be better tomorrow. We have to attack well and defend better than we did in the first leg.”

On Pique: “Pique’s participation will depend on his recovery. He is a competitive player, tomorrow we will assess his participation.”

On Fati: “We will not pressure him to return. Everything depends on his feelings, but it is good to see him train with the team. He is close to returning to full team participation.”

“We will not set a specific time or match for Ansu’s return. Everything depends on his readiness.”

On their ambitions: “At the beginning of the season, we wanted to compete for the Champions League. Today, we aim to compete for the Europa League. In the end, it is a European competition, we want to win it.”

“Winning the Europa League will be important not only to me as a coach, but for the players as well.”

On the pressure to win: “This is Barcelona, we have an obligation to win and play well is always there. No matter what happened in the first leg, we have to be perfect. This is the most demanding team in the world.”

On the UCL games yesterday: “What happened yesterday makes me think that La Liga is not that far from the Premier League. At the moment there are two Spanish teams in the Champions League semi-finals.”

“Next season we want to compete for the Champions League, and play against the teams that played yesterday.”

On winning against big teams: “Did you see what Villarreal did yesterday? We beat Villarreal, right? You have to put Villarreal among the top teams that we have won against.”

On Lewandowski: “This is not the time. He is a great player, but we have to focus on tomorrow’s game. I understand your question, but this is not he right time to discuss potential targets.”

On winning the Europa League: “We have not won the Europa League ever. We have to win it for the fans.”

On Real Madrid’s performance yesterday: “We, Barcelona, are looking at the history of the team. When Cruyff came, he laid down certain basics to play well. I don’t know about Real Madrid, but for us, we always have to play well.”

On Luuk de Jong: “I have said it over and over again, he is a role model for his professionalism and work. I value him very much. He is an option we have and has improved a lot with his associative game, and he also protects the ball well.”

On Nico Gonzalez’s game time: “It not a physical issue. He is a good player and he does not play poorly. I am happy with him, his work and his competitiveness. He is an important player for the team and has played many minutes. He is highly rated by the technical staff.”

“He did not have a great game against Levante, though.”

On Fabio Blanco: “Hs is a great player for Barcelona B, he’s doing really well and scoring goals. He can play on the wing and even centrally. We will evaluate his performance at the end of the season. But he is doing well.”

On Sergino Dest: “He is on the squad list, and definitely has a chance to start. Same for Memphis. It is important that we are starting to get players back, though.”

“Dest is an important player for us, for his ability to play on the right and even the left.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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