Barcelona Featured Interviews LaLiga

Xavi: “I’m very proud of the team”

Xavi during the match against Atlético Madrid/ FC BARCELONA

FC Barcelona go three points clear of Real Madrid in La Liga after an important victory over Atlético Madrid. Xavi, Pedri, and Busquets spoke to the press to reflect on the match and talked about the result, tactics, among other things.

Barça strengthen their position at the top in the standings of La Liga after a massive 1-0 win over Atlético Madrid. The teams looked pretty evenly matched and it appeared so in the scoreline until Dembélé broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute after some amazing footwork by Pedri. The game turned into a physical battle as it progressed with Barça coming out on top after the final whistle and securing the hard-fought three points.

This is what Xavi had to say:

On the system:

“The system convinced me in the first half hour because we dominated the game. The goal came from creating a numerical advantage through the middle. At the end of the game, I went back to 4-3-3 because I thought that this way the players would be more comfortable defending. The game plan was to dominate, have possession as much as possible. Perhaps we lacked depth. Then I have put more dynamic people in like Kessie and Ferran.”

On the result:

“They are 3 gold points because we took advantage of our opportunity and today, without playing so well, we got three points. It was not the case against Espanyol. That’s football. It’s not just 3 points. It gives us morale and confidence to continue after winning on such a difficult ground and I’m very proud of the team because we’ve known how to suffer despite not playing so well.”

On their position in the league:

“We’ve shown that we are strong candidates to win the league. It is also important that we took a step forward without Lewandowski because he is an essential piece who is not with us for a few games. We have defended very well and have only conceded 6 goals in 16 games. It says a lot about the attitude of the team.”

On Kessie:

“One of Franck’s facets is that he doesn’t get tired. The other day (against Intercity ) he ran 16 kilometers. He’s very strong, he wins duels, and is precise with the ball. With him, we have managed to carry the ball in the attacking half and that is very important.”

On Araujo:

“Araujo is an extraordinary defender, just like Balde, Kounde, Christensen. He is a leader.”

This is what Barça captain, Sergio Busquets had to say:

On the match:

“We are very happy to win against a difficult team. It was an opportunity that had to be taken and we did very well. It was a tough match. We went into the lead with the help of Pedri and Dembélé were able to protect our lead from there. We knew Madrid had slipped up at Villarreal and it was an opportunity we had to take — and we did.”

On maintaining composure in the second half:

“In the second half, we worked well to figure out how to maintain the lead. They pressed us a lot and didn’t let us get into space. In the end, we got 3 points that are very important. Keeping a clean sheet is also very important but we have to be solid and add little by little.”

On what could have been better:

“I would have liked for us to create more chances and try to score more but it’s a difficult thing to do against this opposition and you have to keep in mind that they haven’t generated much either.”

This is what Pedri had to say:

On the system:

“Many times, I am higher up the ground. When I get inside and I am closer to the box, it feels much more comfortable to try to create from there. It went well for me today and we were able to convert from that chance. Xavi always tells me to move forward more, to play more one-on-one, to shoot and risk much more”

On the goal:

“I saw the space, carried the ball and found Gavi, who stuck in his body and gave it to Dembele to score.”