Barcelona Featured Interviews

Xavi: “We are on the right track, and it was a turning point”

Ansu Fati, Jordi Alba, and Ronald Araújo after the 3-2 loss to Real Madrid in extra time of the Supercopa de España semifinal / FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona fell 3-2 to Real Madrid in extra time of the Supercopa de España semifinal. Xavi Hernandez, Gerard Piqué, Ronald Araújo, Pedri, and Mateu Alemany spoke to the media after the match.

Here is what Xavi said about:

Barça’s performance

“We had the game, except for the first 20 minutes, in which we played with a bit of a complex due to recent times and results.”

“I think we have been better than Madrid in terms of play, dominance, and we had the game there. We took a lot of risks, and we didn’t know how to control the transitions, and this is the way to compete. In the end we had the match, and if you flip a coin and it comes up heads, nobody would have said anything, but tails came up.”

His takeaways from the defeat

“We can leave proud because we have competed against them, and it is a step forward despite the result. We are on the right track, and it was a turning point in terms of the result, but it is in terms of feelings and game.”

Mistakes made during the game

“Our mistakes of not stopping attacks, of losing balls in areas where you don’t have to lose them, and you have to be more responsible with the ball, especially up top. People are not responsible with the ball, and that causes a counterattack and a goal when we were better.”

 “They are specific errors, but it is a game to grow and continue to believe. In general, we have removed complexes and we can compete against anyone.”

The risks the team took

“As soon as we caught the ball we had to put one more man in the middle of the field to dominate and control, obviously assuming a very great risk in the cons. But we are Barça, and we have to take risks and learn. But we can leave with our head high.”

The return of Ansu Fati and Pedri, and Ferran Torres’ debut

“The three have helped the team and will help a lot, such as Ferran, Pedri, Ansu, who have also seen what [Fati] is capable of doing. He has a goal, and he had a draw at the end. They will make a lot of difference to us.”

Luuk de Jong’s performance and place in the team

“I already said that Luuk is part of the squad. In the end, we are Barça. No one is going to play because of the name, but because of performance [and] because they deserve it. How could I get Luuk out if he is scoring goals, making differences?”

“I already said he was an example for the team, and if he continues to perform, he will continue playing.” 

Here is what Piqué said about:

The match against Madrid

“It was a very entertaining game for the spectator. I think we have competed very well, but in the end we did not win and we did not qualify. It is not the result we expected, and it is a shame. Losing against Madrid hurts, but we are closer to winning. We are already competing, and now we need the definitive step to turn it around and start winning.”

“I think that at the level of the game we have been well. We have taken many risks.”

“Competing as we have competed against Real Madrid, which is having a very good season, is to leave with our heads high. We still need to win, and in this club if we don’t win it is difficult. But playing like today we are closer than ever.”

The team going forward

“I’m very proud of the team. Playing like this we’re going to start winning and competing for the titles.”

The return of Ansu Fati and Pedri to the lineup

“The team has been caught with a grain of salt, with many players coming back from COVID and long injuries. Despite this, the team has played at a very high level. All the players who have returned after months of not competing have done so at a very high level. a very good level. It is great news. The only negative is that it has not been won, that we return home and that it was a title that made us very excited.”

Here is what Araújo said about:

His thoughts on the match:

“Defeat always hurts, but I am proud of the team. We had a great game, we wanted to be protagonists, we had the ball, [and] we were better. We could not counteract their counterattack, but I am proud of the team. You can see the great work we are doing. The group is united, and I hope that the results will come soon.”

The mistakes the team made against Madrid’s counterattack

“We were clear that they were going to wait behind and that they were going to quickly go against it. We did not have to lose easy balls. It’s a shame not to have reached the final “

The direction the team is going in

“Many had not yet played a Clásico, which is a game that is played differently. The desire is different. We have to correct things, but I am happy with what we are doing.”

“We are growing. You can see the fruit of our work. A month ago I saw it very far and now it is very close. We can fight against any team.

Here is what Alemany said about:

Contract negotiations with Ousmane Dembélé

“Nothing has changed with Dembélé. He knows what the club wants. He has an offer on the table, and a solution must be found quickly. I hope he stays with us.”

The loss in El Clásico

“For the spectator it was a great game, very close. Anything could have happened. Madrid had a little more success. It was a draw.”

About Fati and Pedri returning from injury

“This game was coming a little early for us. The players rejoined after a long time out. They needed a little more rhythm. The team has been phenomenal; their attitude, their work, and their ability to compete.”

The road ahead for Barça

“The team shows the potential it has and the project we have in mind. We hope it will come out.”

The possibility of more January signings

“There is a theme of ‘fair play’. We are attentive to the market and to see what can happen in the coming weeks.”

Here is what Pedri said about:

The result in the semifinal

“It is a difficult defeat because the game could have fallen on either side. We are at Barça, and we want to win all the games because that is what this club is asking for. But we young people are bringing enthusiasm, and the fans have to be proud.”

The progress the team is making

“The young people and veterans who help us every day are building a great team, and the victories will come soon.”

Returning from injury

“I thought [my return] would not come. I no longer feel anything from the injury.”