Player Features

‘It’s not just the Champions League’

“I don’t think the league is lost” insisted Xavi Hernández in his press conference to discuss Friday’s game with Mallorca. “We certainly missed out on an opportunity at San Mamés but now we have another chance to move closer to the top, albeit provisionally. We can’t afford to take our minds off it and only focus on the Champions League.”

The coach said he may well rotate his squad, but not because of the Napoli game on Tuesday. “I’d do just the same if we had a league game to come” he said. “We need to consider fatigue and the number of games the players are facing.”

Praise for Mallorca and Aguirre

Pedri and Frenkie de Jong are both injured and won’t be playing whatever happens. Asked about the Canary Islander, Xavi said “I have told him that this is his last injury. He needs to convince himself that he’ll recover. It’s not as serious as we thought and hopefully he’ll be back soon.”

“But missing him and Frenkie doesn’t change our philosophy. We will try to ensure that the football remains the same.”

As for cup finalists Mallorca, the coach describes them as “a solid team that plays well together and is physically strong. They’re having a good season and I imagine we’ll be facing a team that will play defensively but whose morale in high. Javier Aguirre works very hard on getting the best out of his teams, I’m an admirer of his.”

Best president ever

Today marks the third anniversary of Joan Laporta‘s victory in the last presidential elections, and asked to assess his tenure, Xavi said “I would rate it as highly positive. The president took over the club in a difficult financial situation. I think Laporta is the best president that Barça has ever had.”

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