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Xavi: “We hope the fan recovers well”

Ansu Fati dedicating his goal to the unlucky fan / FC Barcelona
Ansu Fati dedicating his goal to the unlucky fan / FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona put four goals past the opponent again in a match that grabbed the spotlight for the wrong reasons towards the end. Xavi was the only one to speak to the press after.

Ten minutes before the fifth-round match against Cadiz was supposed to finish, an Andalusian fan collapsed, which saw the play suspended for 45 minutes. The club medical teams cooperated with a cardiologist, who happened to be in the stands, to salvage the situation. Even the home team’s goalkeeper, Jeremias Ledesma, played his part by sprinting over the green to deliver a defibrillator to the medical team.

Fortunately, it ended well, as the fan was later escorted to a hospital after recovering from the worst. Xavi explained how the situation had been evolving on the pitch and by the sidelines:

“We did not know what was happening initially. Some said that a fan collapsed, some that he had a heart attack. If the situation had worsened, we would have suspended the match. After we received information that he got better, we decided to continue.” 

“We are talking about human life here. That has to be above football. We hope he recovers well.”

“The referee reacted well and was sensational. He filled us in and even made us a part of the final decision. It was common sense what to do in a given situation. Luckily, nothing too unfortunate happened in the end.”

In the shadow of what happened, the performance and the result remained somewhat insignificant, but in the end, Barça managed to register another win by scoring four goals. 

Despite a lackluster performance in the first half, the second one proved much more fruitful, especially with Lewandowski, Pedri, and Dembele coming on.

“We didn’t create as much as we expected in the first half. We had our chances, but scoring early is incredibly important. If Raphinha doesn’t hit the post, it’s a different match.”

“The final pass was a problem for us today. But ultimately, we wore them down to achieve an important victory. It’s not easy winning here. We haven’t beaten Cadiz in the last two seasons, and today we finally did.”

In the light of Champions League matches in two consecutive weeks, Xavi made nine changes to his starting lineup, with only Ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong also starting against Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday. 

This might have been one of the reasons the team looked relatively lost in the opening minutes, as the two new fullback signings also got their first minutes, Hector Bellerin from the beginning and Marcos Alonso for the closing fifteen minutes.

“I am aware that we have a big squad, and currently, everyone is available and trains well. The team I have at my disposal offers me a chance to field different lineups regularly, and it will barely change how we fare on the pitch.”

“This is how it will be throughout the season. The same would have happened even if we didn’t have the mid-week match against Bayern Munich.”

FC Barcelona is in good form, but now the toughest challenge of the season yet awaits. An opponent at whose hands Barça suffered greatly in the past three seasons. Only this time, Robert Lewandowski will be wearing a Blaugrana shirt instead of a red one.