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Barjuan: “I already knew that this could be my last game”

Sergi Barjuan during the press conference ahead of the game against Celta / FC BARCELONA
Sergi Barjuan during the press conference ahead of the game against Celta / FC BARCELONA

Sergi Barjuan spoke to the press ahead of Saturday’s league game against Celta Vigo.

While everyone was waiting for an official announcement of FC Barcelona’s social media pages that would confirm Xavi Hernández as the club’s new manager, the usual press conference took place the day before the game against Celta. Sergi Barjuan, the interim coach, will most likely be in charge of his last game with the first team. Barça currently sits in ninth place, while Celta de Vigo finds itself in fifteenth after only winning three of their 12 games so far in La Liga. Barjuan appeared in front of the press to answer questions, most likely for his last time.

About Xavi becoming the next coach:

“Al Sadd has released a statement, Barça hasn’t yet done that. We have to wait for it to come from both parties. I have a good relationship with Xavi and I’m in contact with him. I’d be delighted to help him and the club with any questions.”

“Barça hasn’t made it official yet. The right people will make it official. I’m here to help the club and I’ll do my best tomorrow.”

“If he is qualified and Barça wants him, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the people who do the negotiations and pay release clauses. It has been done with players and that’s not a different situation. If you have to pay it, go ahead.”

“When a new coach arrives, players quickly get used to what happens, they’re used to pressure and adaptation. It’s a situation that’s part of football and we have to live with it.”

About his time with the first team:

“My role here was to try to contribute what I’ve been contributing all these years. I’ve been close to the team and I’ve contributed little tactical things.”

“I’ve been close to the team, to assess why the players were like this. When you win everything, it’s easier. Today in training we played a fun game and we laughed. I’ve been close to them to get the best they can give in this short period of time.”

“I’ve tried to have good communication with the players, to be honest with them.”

“I’ve never thought about the next step, I’ve thought about getting the best of the players and myself. I never do things thinking about what will come next. Right now, I was focused on doing the best for the team. I have enjoyed these ten days, enjoyed and learned.”

About tomorrow’s game against Celta, which might be his last in charge:

“It will be a different kind of game. They’ll put on a lot of pressure to complicate us playing the ball out from the back. As for their way of playing, they have a lot of mobility in midfield and we’ll have to be aware that we have to press differently than in Kyiv. We’ll try to be dominant with the ball and we’ve worked on that yesterday and today. We have to organize ourselves well.”

“It’s normal that this could be my last game, I already knew it. I knew there was an expiration date, but I’m happy. I’m not done yet, there’s still tomorrow. We’re going to work hard because they’ll demand a lot from us. Historically, they’ve been a difficult opponent for us. If we play as we did in Kyiv, I’ll be happy.”

About Dembélé’s injury:

“I had to make a decision. After the game, we were all happy. We saw Dembélé play but unfortunately, he got injured yesterday. If he wouldn’t have been injured, no one would talk about the decision of playing him. We won the game and Dembélé played. These risks are a part of football.”

About the team’s chances for the rest of the season:

“I think the players are the ones who do the talking on the pitch and Barça will return to the top because they have very good players. We have to recover everyone and the situation will calm down. There’s a team that can fight and do better in the league and qualify for the Champions League. We have to maintain this positive dynamic.”

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