Xavi Hernandez spoke to the media ahead of Barcelona’s game against Real Valladolid this midweek. The Barcelona coach talked about the Vinicius incident last night, along with the club’s objectives in the transfer market, among other things.
“Vinicius? Unfortunately. There are still cases of racism and it’s unfortunate. Any act of racism, like the one we saw towards Vinícius, must be condemned,” said Xavi about the Vinicius incident last night, which compelled Real Madrid to file an official complaint.
“Before being a Real Madrid player, Vinicius is a human. You have to defend him and I use my position as the Barça coach to defend him,” he added.
Xavi talked about the Valladolid game, adding, “We want to beat Valladolid. No doubts.” When asked about Jules Kounde’s absence from the squad, he said, “Kounde played a lot of minutes. There is a time when the body tells you enough is enough. He has just some muscle discomfort.”
The Barça coach also confirmed Pablo Torre’s inclusion in the starting eleven, adding, “Pablo Torre will have minutes tomorrow, just like others who’ve played less.”
Xavi went on to address some of the media speculations regarding both Barcelona players and their targets in the market, including Lionel Messi and Joshua Kimmich.
“It depends on a lot of things, that’s all I can say. He’s a spectacular footballer and we’ll see what happens. It will also depend a lot on Leo’s intentions,” he said. Similar words were echoed by Barcelona vice-president Rafa Yuste earlier this month.
“He’s a spectacular player, one of the best in the world in his position. Zubimendi? I do not want to be disrespectful towards Sociedad because their director was upset about me talking about him,” Xavi said when asked about Kimmich and Zubimendi.
Xavi talked about the future of Ansu Fati as well, suggesting that the club have not taken a decision on the youngster’s future, despite speculation linking him with a move away from Camp Nou this summer.
“We have not decided anything with anyone yet. We’re waiting for La Liga to give the OK on our feasibility plan, then we’ll see everything,” he said.
Xavi also talked about Nico, adding, “Nico played a great game against Madrid yesterday. He’s doing well at Valencia now after being out of action for 3 months. We’ll see what we decide with him.”
Talking about Barcelona’s targets in the transfer market, Xavi confirmed earlier speculations that had suggested how right-back is not a transfer priority for the club. “Signing a right-back is not the first priority, signing a pivot is because Busi is leaving,” he said.
Addressing the rumours of Deco being named the next sporting director, Xavi said: “I have had a friendly relationship with him for a long time. There is nothing official yet, so I won’t talk about it.”
With the season almost done and dusted, Xavi Hernandez suggested that the season ahead will not be an easy one for the club and urged fans to show similar support in a new stadium next season.
“Next season will not be easy, we have to play in the Montjuïc. We need the same support and love from our fans as we got this year,” said the Barcelona coach who will look to end the campaign on a positive note.
The Barcelona manager also insisted that he hopes to see his players Robert Lewandowski and Marc-Andre ter Stegen win the Pichichi and the Zamora trophies, respectively, saying:
“It’s normal, it’s the usual relaxation after achieving the main objective. I would like Robert to win ‘Pichichi’ and Marc to win ‘Zamora’ and be the team with the least goals conceded in the history of La Liga.”