Xavi Hernández: “We don't play to keep our mouths shut”

“This tie represents excitement, hope and motivation to advance to the quarterfinals”


The coach of FC Barcelona, to, in the overall tie, achieve the objective of advancing to the quarterfinals and extending the European challenge.

“We don't play to shut up mouths, we play for the fans and for the people who want good for the club. And for us, for our prestige because it is 'Champions'. The focus is none other than that two years ago the club was not in the round of 16 and this is the focus; a magnificent stage to enjoy and compete,” he pointed out to the media.

For Xavi, the main objective is to be in the quarterfinals. “The reaction is very good, I don't think anything will change after the decision (to leave at the end of the season). They have put on their work overalls and I am happy with how the locker room is,” he said.

Looking ahead to the match against Naples, he believes that the tie will be very close. “I don't see a clear favorite but rather it has to be demonstrated on the field of play. It means enthusiasm, hope and motivation to advance to the quarterfinals. It is the biggest competition, it is an ideal setting to have a good match, a great tie,” he assured.

It will be against a Naples that changes the coach in a “surprising way” 24 hours before the game. “They will have their reasons for doing so, but the coach knows the house, the players and it is not easy for us to prepare for the game, because we do not know what will lie in store for us. But we have to do things well in attack and defense, have personality against the current scudetto champion,” he said.

“They are a great rival and I would highlight their three forwards, who are top-level footballers. The tie is 50-50. We are teams that have just won the League and Serie A, it is not being their best season and ours is being something more regular. But we have to show it on the field, we are not talking about favoritism. At 9:00 p.m. we have to show that we are better and then at home too. It is time to talk on the field and show our best side,” acknowledged the coach. blaugrana.

A Xavi who reiterated that he will experience this tie as if his departure from the club had not been announced at the end of the campaign. “I am going to live it the same as if I had not announced anything. I am very excited, hopeful, motivated and I try to transmit it to the footballers. We will prepare them in the best way to compete tomorrow and the pressure is maximum, like the first day,” he said. .

Of course, they know that they should not play without a head because Montjuïc is just around the corner. “We have to be a little more cautious and intelligent, knowing that there are 90 minutes left in Montjuïc. But our mentality will not change and we will try to go for the game with the ball. They do something similar. It will be a complicated game tomorrow,” he assured.

“A draw for me is not a good result. I have been raised like this. We will go to win the game and then circumstances will say if a possible draw is a good result or not. We have earned playing the second leg at home,” said the player from Terrassa. .

“I have the feeling of hope and excitement, of wanting to compete, not that they will kick me out. We are in the second round of the 'Champions', it has cost us a lot and we have earned it. We have to enjoy it and compete. I think about it, I don't think about negative scenarios, far from it,” he concluded.


On the other hand, when he went out to the press room of the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona behind Frenkie De Jong who exploded against the press over a personal issue, about his salary and his future at the club, the coach showed his support for the midfielder. Dutch.

“Frenkie has expanded and I understand him perfectly. Any player or person at Barça often feels injustice because things are invented. For me, Frenkie is a footballer for many years for Barcelona. I know that he is happy here with us, he has been very happy and for me it is capital here,” he said.

“Frenkie has explained it well, they say things that are not. They carry it inside. But it does not change that we have to play and compete better. It is understood that there is sports criticism, but there are things that are unfair. We do not blame the press about not playing well and not having expected results, I have never said this,” Xavi explained.