The coach said he is looking forward to lifting the title, wherever it is
Barça have not lifted a league title since the 2018-2019 season. Too long for a club that in recent years was not used to such a long drought. In addition to this urgency, FC Barcelona has had to live through turbulent times because it has had to manage the departure of Messi, rebuild the team and do so in an economic situation that has made life too complicated.
That's why Xavi Hernández wants to win the title as soon as he can. "I want to win it as soon as possible. The club, the staff and the players need it. If it's in Cornellá, then fine. We can't pick and choose," he said.
The Barcelona coach was grateful for the words of Carlo Ancelotti, who spoke of Barça being deserved champions and who contrasts with the idea that Madrid are trying to sell that this league has been "cheap". "We congratulated Madrid last year, when they were champions. We football professionals know that the league is normally won by the best team. The one who has been more consistent. The KO competitions are more unfair than La Liga".
Although he recalled that Barça are still in a process of reconstruction, Xavi does not consider that one can speak of a "miracle" if they end up winning the title. "It has a lot of merit to be where we are. We are still in a process of construction, but we have to build by winning and this league is very important for the club and the project. It would give us stability. It's no miracle that we are so close," he said.
He doesn't care if a possible Madrid win in the Cup or Champions League does not dampen Barça's season. He understands that it might hurt Barça fans, but that internally there is no discussion whatsoever. "We, from the inside, will value very much the fact that we have won a league title and a Spanish Super Cup. Whatever happens, we will be happy with our season".
The funny moment of the press conference came when he was asked who he was going with in Saturday's Copa del Rey final between Real Madrid and Osasuna. He didn't want to get involved and at first blurted out to the journalist. "Who do you imagine? When he did not receive an answer from the journalist, he used irony. "You don't answer me, so neither do I. You had it easy, didn't you? You had it easy, eh?", he said, generating laughter among those present.
Later, he was asked again directly if he was going with Osasuna and again, he was witty. "Tomorrow (the day of Barça-Osasuna), I'm not going with Osasuna". And he added: "On Saturday I will enjoy the final, but I don't know if I will watch it, I have an event. May the best team win," he said. And the topic was over.
Pedri, Raphinha and other names
Xavi acknowledged that the team missed Pedri during his absence due to injury but that minimising the problem can only be done through work and a better understanding of the system of play. "The problem is that Pedri is a special and differential player. I wish we could have two or three 'Pedris'. We have to improve collectively even if we can't count on him or other important players like Dembélé".
Another player who has been important for the team this season is Raphinha. The Brazilian has signed 10 goals and 11 assists in his first season and the coach is delighted with his performance. "Raphinha is having a great season and will continue to be important. I told him so personally the other day. I'm very happy with him. Furthermore, he doesn't think the return of Dembélé could detract too much from his role. "They can play together," he said.
"Yes, he is recovering sensations, not only because of the goals, he associates well, he has taken a step forward, there are moments when you are not so fine, he has played the last two very good games and the season is brilliant."
Praise for Manchester City
The Barça coach had no qualms about acknowledging that Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are, in his opinion, the best team in the world at the moment. And he believes they deserve to win the treble. "Yes it would be fair, for me they are the best team in the world. They have the best coach and their football is a mirror image for us right now, it would be a very fair treble".
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