Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Xavi Hernandez talks about Barcelona’s ambitions, winning the Europa League and more ahead of their match against Eintracht Frankfurt

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Barcelona face a daunting task ahead of them as they fight for a Europa League semi-final place against Eintracht Frankfurt. The German clubs showed in the first leg that they won’t be easy to beat.

The tie is currently balanced at 1-1 and Barcelona will be playing at the Camp Nou which will be an advantage for them. But, Eintracht Frankfurt will fight till the last to beat the Spanish giants, so Barcelona will have to be at their best.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has now talked about their ambitions, winning the Europa League and more ahead of their match against Eintracht Frankfurt in the pre-match press conference.

Game against Eintracht Frankfurt

“I think we have to improve in terms of losing the ball. We are playing in front of our fans and this is in our favour, but we must not find any excuses. We are working to prevent them from having the ball, and countering.”

“For them, it is the most important match in their history. We have to live up to the desire, this motivation they have to play against Barcelona. And tomorrow I hope the supporters will continue to show that they are on the same page.”

Pitch

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“The pitch did not help us in the first leg, but I expect it to be better tomorrow. We have to attack well and defend better than we did in the first leg.”

Pique

“Pique’s participation will depend on his recovery. He is a competitive player, tomorrow we will assess his participation.”

Fati

“We will not pressure him to return. Everything depends on his feelings, but it is good to see him train with the team. He is close to returning to full team participation.”

“We will not set a specific time or match for Ansu’s return. Everything depends on his readiness.”

Barcelona’s ambitions

“At the beginning of the season, we wanted to compete for the Champions League. Today, we aim to compete for the Europa League. In the end, it is a European competition, we want to win it.”

“Winning the Europa League will be important not only to me as a coach, but for the players as well.”

Pressure to win

“This is Barcelona, we have an obligation to win and play well is always there. No matter what happened in the first leg, we have to be perfect. This is the most demanding team in the world.”

UCL quarter-finals

“What happened yesterday makes me think that La Liga is not that far from the Premier League. At the moment there are two Spanish teams in the Champions League semi-finals.”

“Next season we want to compete for the Champions League, and play against the teams that played yesterday.”

Winning against big teams

“Did you see what Villarreal did yesterday? We beat Villarreal, right? You have to put Villarreal among the top teams that we have won against.”

Lewandowski

“This is not the time. He is a great player, but we have to focus on tomorrow’s game. I understand your question, but this is not he right time to discuss potential targets.”

Winning the Europa League

“We have not won the Europa League ever. We have to win it for the fans.”

Real Madrid’s performance against Chelsea

“We, Barcelona, are looking at the history of the team. When Cruyff came, he laid down certain basics to play well. I don’t know about Real Madrid, but for us, we always have to play well.”

Luuk de Jong

“I have said it over and over again, he is a role model for his professionalism and work. I value him very much. He is an option we have and has improved a lot with his associative game, and he also protects the ball well.”

Nico Gonzalez’s game time

“It not a physical issue. He is a good player and he does not play poorly. I am happy with him, his work and his competitiveness. He is an important player for the team and has played many minutes. He is highly rated by the technical staff.”

“He did not have a great game against Levante, though.”

Fabio Blanco

“Hs is a great player for Barcelona B, he’s doing really well and scoring goals. He can play on the wing and even centrally. We will evaluate his performance at the end of the season. But he is doing well.”

Sergino Dest

“He is on the squad list, and definitely has a chance to start. Same for Memphis. It is important that we are starting to get players back, though.”

“Dest is an important player for us, for his ability to play on the right and even the left.”

via BarçaTV+

Read: Here are the first two questions Xavi Hernandez asked his players while taking charge of Barcelona

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Rahul Roy
Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.

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