MADRID, March 11 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The coach of FC Barcelona, Xavi Hernández, has ensured that the club’s president, Joan Laporta, has asked them to be “calm” in relation to the ‘Negreira case’, after the Prosecutor’s Office decided to denounce the Barça entity, and that they focus on football, starting with this Sunday’s match against Athletic Club in San Mamés, a “final” in a week in which they will look for “six transcendental points”, with the Clásico next weekend.
“The president says that we are calm, that we work and focus on football. That is what concerns me,” he declared at a press conference. “Today I have done the same as last week and a year ago: train the important things. We have not talked about extra-sports issues,” he added.
On the other hand, the Catalan coach explained that, despite having the Clásico in a week, they are focused “on tomorrow’s game”. “It is very important to maintain this distance of nine points that we have with Madrid, it is key. Tomorrow is a final, all that remains are finals. At least we must maintain this advantage before Real Madrid come to the Camp Nou. We have a really difficult start,” he said.
For this reason, they will not speculate or reserve the four warned players who could miss the duel against the whites. “Fortunately or unfortunately, there is a game tomorrow. We are not going to play with the fear of whether someone is sanctioned. We are thinking about tomorrow’s game and then we will think about the Clásico,” he said.
“It’s going a lot in the League, there are six non-decisive points, but transcendental. The moment of truth arrives, where the titles are cooked, and you have to rise to the occasion, you have to compete. Tomorrow we have a sensational war at the football level in San Mamés, against an aggressive team that does not speculate. These two weeks before the break are key”, he stated, without giving importance to the atmosphere that will be in the rojiblanco stadium, where the supporters clubs plan to launch tickets in the 30th minute to protest the ‘Negreira case’ ‘. “I don’t think it harms us, it’s a football game. At no time have we talked about any of that. Winning or losing tomorrow’s game will not depend on what happens in the stands,” he added.
Nor does he believe that the announcement that Real Madrid can take legal action against Barça for the case will destabilize them. “This will not destabilize us, but Vinícius, Modric, Kroos, Courtois… we are very focused on what we have to do at a sporting level,” he insisted.
On Sunday’s rival, he highlighted the danger of the Williams brothers. “They are very dangerous. They have physical power and speed in transition that destroy you. They are far superior; Nico has more one against one than his brother, but Iñaki is more upright. They are a constant danger for Athletic in the defense-attack transition” , analyzed.
To do this, they will have a defense that has been very solvent in recent games. “The performance of the team in defense leaves me calm, how we throw down the defensive line, how the world attacks and presses, how the whole team wins direct duels, they are situations in which we are excellent. At an offensive level we must improve,” he explained.
“LEWANDOWSKI IS LIKE RONALDINHO OR MESSI, HE HAS CHANGED THE MENTALITY OF THE TEAM”
The culé coach will recover Robert Lewandowski, who he assures is “very well” after training with the group since Thursday. “We have won without Robert, but we have missed him a lot. He is a player who makes a difference in attack, defense and strategy”, he said. “He is an example of involvement and commitment. He is differential, he is a player who has changed the mentality of the team. He is a vital high”, he indicated, before evaluating some statements from the Pole about Guardiola’s Barça.
“I talk a lot about football with Robert. He’s a guy like Ronaldinho or Messi, he alone has changed the mentality of the team, he’s a natural leader. It’s important that he talk and communicate. Before football wasn’t so aggressive and physical, it was slower, more controllable. Today almost everyone is putting pressure on you to get the ball out. But that doesn’t change our idea and our philosophy of the game. Football has changed and you have to adapt,” he continued.
In another order of things, Xavi recognized that he would love to continue at FC Barcelona and that he has even discussed it with Laporta. “We have talked about it, we have fluid communication, very good vibes. I always tell him ‘calm down’, that this is about winning titles. Better to focus on sports, not on contractual matters,” he said.
Even so, he confessed that he would like to spend many years at the club. “I see it difficult at Barça. Hopefully, this is my home, I love being here, although there are days when you suffer and it’s a thankless job. I am grateful to the ‘president’ for the words, he always tells me that he is happy with our He insisted. “Mateu does an extraordinary job, he is a leader, a reliable and experienced person. I couldn’t be more comfortable at the club, we’ve made a great team and I hope it continues for many years,” he concluded.