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Xavi: “This result will give us confidence and morale for Napoli”

FC Barcelona players celebrate Frenkie de Jong’s goal in a 4-1 win over Valencia at Mestalla on February 20, 2022 / FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona defeated Valencia 4-1 in a LaLiga match at Mestalla on Sunday courtesy of a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hat-trick and a goal from Frenkie de Jong. Manager Xavi Hernández, captain Sergio Busquets, and new-signing Aubameyang spoke to the media following the match.

Here is what Xavi said about:

Pedri’s amount of talent

“He is superlative. At the level of talent there is no other in the world like Pedri, and he is only 19 years old.”

“We ask him to shoot. We demand it. He has a shot, he shoots free kicks well, and he is very young and shy, but not everyone has the skills he has”.

How Barça played against Valencia

“We were not as brilliant as against Napoli, but we were much more effective. We are leaving a very difficult field with three excellent points.

“The first half was excellent. We knew how to create superiority and attack the spaces, but in the second [half] we lacked a little more calmness. In general terms, I am happy, although it is true that we must be more constant and more reliable at certain times. We have to defend better with the ball. We lack a bit.”

The importance of the win

“This victory will give us peace of mind, although only until Thursday because in Naples we have another final, then another against Athletic, Elche… We have regained fourth place, but we continue with urgency.”

Aubameyang’s performance

“He has scored goals his entire career. It was to be expected that he would score here soon, too. He goes very well to space. He is mature. He is very intelligent. I am delighted with him. These two [later changed to three] goals will go very well for him.”

The team’s aim

“It depends on trust, on faith. It is something that we continue to work on. It also depends on their success, but we try to work on it and give them all the confidence, but there is no magic potion.”

“I still think we’re on the right track. This result will give us confidence and morale for Napoli.”

Here is what Aubameyang said about:

His emotions after scoring his first goals for Barça

“I’m very happy, especially because we won.”

His history of scoring hat-tricks against Valencia at Mestalla

“The last time I played here I scored a hat-trick in the Europa League, today a brace [later changed to a hat-trick], so this stadium is a bit like home.”

His thoughts on Barça’s victory

“We have played very well, and we have added three very important points to continue. And now there is a very important game, like Thursday’s against Napoli. It gives a lot of confidence to win this game.”

Here is what Busquets said about:

Barça’s effectiveness against Valencia

“Especially in the first half, we were very effective, and it gave us the control of the game and the calm to continue playing, find free men, and we played a good game in general. In other games, not being effective made the rivals get into the game, and today it hasn’t happened.” 

Aubameyang’s performance

“He is working very well. He arrived with a lack of minutes, but he is having them. He added his second start, and I hope he helps us like that because he is a great player, and it is a luxury to have him in the squad after [arriving for] free.”

Pedri’s shot that deflected off of Aubameyang’s back and into the net

“Without Aubameyang’s help, perhaps the goalkeeper would have been able to stop it.”