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Xavi Reflects on Barcelona’s Near-Perfect Performance Against Atletico Madrid

Xavi / Getty Images
Xavi / Getty Images

Xavi reflects on the team’s near-perfect performance, urging them to continue fighting for the remaining titles.

Xavi Hernández stated, right after the match, that “it was almost a perfect game for what we were looking for” and was very decisive. “We are Barcelona and we have no choice but to fight until the end for the two remaining titles, which are the most important ones.”

He explained that “it was difficult to progress because they were man-marking us, and we had prepared a lot for the third man with Robert. I think he played the best game since he joined Barcelona. If not the best, we played the best game of the season; it’s a moment to dream, as I told the players.” He stated, “I haven’t thought about” where Real Madrid might slip. “We know we don’t depend on ourselves.” He extended praise to all the players: “Sergi Roberto as a midfielder, Gündogan, Joao Félix, Fermín himself, Raphinha… all of them.” About Joao Félix, he said, “He had a very complete game, very motivated, also in defensive work.” And he attributes the improvement “to many things. We are better in defense and don’t lose as many balls; we are solid and generous in our work.” He concludes, “football is a state of mind, and we are in a good moment.”

Regarding the young players, he said, “they are ready, and that’s why we put them on. We won with many homegrown players, and they did very well.” He particularly praised Héctor Fort. “It’s not his position, but he’s ready and eager for success.”

The Barcelona coach explained that “the idea was to put Gündogan as an attacking midfielder or interior on the right side, in the tip of the square we say, but Andreas (Christensen) felt discomfort in the Achilles, so we opted for Fermín.”

He believes that “it was a perfect game in positional play, attacking spaces. Defensively, we were also very good because they hardly created any chances. It’s an almost perfect game, for what we were looking for.” Regarding his expulsion, he was restrained: “The expulsion is not fair, but we have to accept it, nothing more.” And he explained, “the fourth official told me it was because of the gestures.” And he made it clear that the team will keep fighting until the end: “We are Barcelona, ​​we can’t do anything else but fight until the end. Now that I’m leaving in the summer, we will push them to the maximum,” he affirmed. He concluded that “the two most important titles are left, and it’s time to demand and push the players.”

He explained that “Cancelo was affected by not being able to come, that’s why Fermín remembered him.”

He assures that, despite the absences, “this is the Barcelona we want, the essence, the way of playing, the Cruyffism, call it what you want.”