Competition Focus

Lewandowski? I didn’t like being changed either

Xavi Hernández, coach of FC Barcelona, downplayed the substitution of Robert Lewandowski, who seemed unhappy when Xavi decided to bring on Ferran Torres. “Lewandowski’s substitution was a tactical decision to press high again and because we have three games this week. We needed more strength and fresh legs. Robert did a great job, but as a coach, I have to think about the team,” Xavi explained on DAZN.

“I understand the player’s frustration, I’ve been there too, but we needed physicality for high pressure at that moment. It’s always about the team, not personal feelings,” Xavi reiterated at a press conference.

Xavi once again praised Lamine, who scored the opening goal. “Despite being a young player, he makes good decisions tactically. He’s a special talent at just 16 years old. He’s a player with a lot of potential,” Xavi reasoned.

Another player Xavi had to address was Vitor Roque, who didn’t get any playing time again. “Decisions about his future will be made internally at the end of the season. There’s talk of a possible departure this summer,” Xavi said. Responding to comments from André Cury about a potential loan move, Xavi defended his decision not to play Roque more. “Competition is tough at Barcelona. I believe other players are currently in better form to play. Vitor is young and has room to improve. It’s on me as a coach for not giving him more minutes,” Xavi clarified.

Regarding the match, Xavi was thrilled with the team’s response after the loss in Girona. “Today was the time to bounce back, and the team really showed character, ambition, and a desire to finish second. Our goal is to finish second for financial reasons and because it gives us a chance to compete for another title,” he said. The coach mentioned, “We started with high pressure, won back many balls, although we did struggle with Becker’s speed. We need to possess the ball more. Their five-man defense caught us off guard, but overall, I’m pleased. We competed well against a team in the Champions League,” explained the man from Terrassa.

Regarding Araujo’s absence, Xavi noted, “Ronald had an issue, and with three games this week, we need players who are at their best.”

Xavi once again praised Real Sociedad and Imanol Alguacil. “Real always makes it difficult for us. Whenever we face them, they are very organized, aggressive, you don’t create danger for them. We didn’t expect the line of five. They have been very good. We have found the back well and we have generated some but we always La Real seems like a great team to me. It’s an important victory for us. We played a good game in general,” he commented.

This content has been translated and adapted from the Spanish version of the digital newspaper

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