Xavi: “We have beaten a great team”


The coach of FC Barcelona, ​​Xavi Hernández, has assured that it was “crucial” to win against Atlético de Madrid this Sunday, a “gentle team” that they have managed to prevail (1-0) and which they have managed to “practically unseat” from the fight for the LaLiga Santander title, although he has insisted that “nothing has been done”.

“The panorama is exciting, but nothing has been done. We have to go to Vallecas, a really complicated field that is always tight and Rayo is a great team. Today we beat a great team. We had to win to practically unseat them from the race for LaLiga; they had not lost since we went to the Metropolitan and we had to beat them again, with difficulties. The victory is deserved, we are happy and satisfied”, he declared at a press conference.

In this sense, he thanked the statements of the rojiblanco coach, who assured that he already sees the Catalans as champions, but called for calm. “The words of ‘Cholo’ Simeone are always appreciated, he is a coach with a lot of experience who has experienced many things as a coach. Nothing has been done, there are many important and difficult games left. We have to win more games, we have to deserve it more “, he insisted.

“If (the team) feels champion, we are going to tell them that they are not champions yet. It is not mathematical. It is a direct rival, if you lost you had eight and ten left; we are at 11 and 16, not to celebrate it! The Leagues are not going to be won with a 30-point difference, there are eight games to go and we are in a privileged situation. Nothing has been done”, he stressed.

Regarding what happened this Sunday, the Catalan coach considers that they played “a very good game”. “It was crucial to win today after two draws and it is one more step towards the title. We are quite satisfied with what we had proposed and with what we have seen,” he said, acknowledging that they could have achieved a bigger score.

“I have that feeling, we had chances to make it 2-0 and even to score more goals. Atlético has also had options, but ours were very clear: I remember Rapha’s, Robert’s, a very clear one from Gavi in ​​the penalty point… There are three very clear ones. It is a trend that is happening to us this season, that of not concluding the games. We always talk about the same thing, you end up suffering in a game that was deserved to be won by more than one goal”, continued.

In another order of things, Xavi regretted that the environment questions his victories by the minimum. “For us, 1-0 is a very good result, hopefully we’ll win every game like that. It’s difficult to win by more than one goal. We’re in a very good situation, privileged. Today we’ve generated a lot, but it’s part of the effectiveness, of a good state of form”, manifested.

Instead, he was proud of the good defensive performance of his team. “We are also surprised, it is not normal to have conceded nine goals in 30 games. It is a sign that we are doing an important defensive job, that the rival has not been successful at times… It is not all our merit, it is also the rival’s demerit. I’m happy with the team’s work. The team gives their all on the pitch, I see them run, they wear themselves out until the last second. This is crucial and it’s going to give us a lot now and in the future,” he said.

In another order of things, he highlighted the good game of Raphinha and Ferran Torres. “It was key to be supportive, to be generous with teamwork, and the commitment of Raphinha and Ferran is unquestionable. We knew that they recovered balls and ran. Both Nahuel and Carrasco are players who have a lot of physical power and we had to match it. A defensive level we have been very good”, signalled.

In addition, he defined Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, who returned this Sunday after overcoming their injuries, as “capital footballers”. “Without detracting from the others, who have done an extraordinary job when they have not been there, they are differential footballers. They understand everything, they improve what comes their way, they understand our game model, and that is why they are so crucial in our idea. Frenkie has made a great match and when Pedri came out everything improved. I have a calmer feeling when the ball reaches Frenkie and Pedri”, he acknowledged.

Regarding the Pole Robert Lewandowski, downplayed his scoring drought. “Today Ferran will be the happiest guy in the world and Lewandowski, Ansu or Raphinha, who hasn’t scored, will be sadder. This is the striker’s life. Lewandowski is the top scorer in LaLiga with 17 goals, imagine the rest how They are!” he said.