Barcelona midfield maestro reveals his wish regarding Xavi

Date:

HAMBURG, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: İlkay Gündoğan of FC Barcelona warms up during a traing session of FC Barcelona at Volksparkstadion on November 06, 2023 in Hamburg, Germany.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Although FC Barcelona could not improve the results they get on the pitch, the Catalans clearly improved their squad to a significant degree in the last summer transfer window.

The most notable addition made by the Catalans was that of the German Ilkay Gundogan, who completed his contract at Manchester City to join Barcelona for free. It is a testament to his quality that he has become an integral player for Xavi in his very first season at his new club.

As Mundo Deportivo has reported, the German talked to the media ahead of the match against Napoli and commented on different aspects related to Barcelona. Gundogan shared his surprise at Xavi’s announcement of leaving the club and disclosed his wishes regarding the coach:

“I was surprised, I didn’t expect it. I wish I could have done more for him, I have that feeling. He was fundamental for me to come, and I am very grateful to him. I respect his decision, he deserves a lot of credit. He thinks about the family, the players, and the club before himself. Xavi loves Barça…”

Gundogan admitted that it would be difficult for Barcelona to win the Champions League, but still pointed out that anything can happen in this tournament:

“I’m going to be honest, I see other teams with more possibilities and experience. But if we qualify for the quarter-finals, we enter into a special territory. Who could have expected Inter to reach the final last year? I’m realistic, but I also know it’s difficult for everyone.”

The German maestro also identified what his team needed to do to adapt to the requirements of the Champions League:

“Yes, of course. We need these games to raise our level. The Champions League is about that, competing, and demanding the maximum from ourselves. I love this kind of pressure. We travel to Naples for a good result. The decisive moment has arrived, we start from scratch, and it’s time to raise our level.”

“We’re not playing up to the expectations created, each one of us can do better. It’s not an excuse, but we’ve been through a lot of difficulties. Injuries, young players under a lot of pressure…”

The midfielder was also clear that he would need more time to gel with his midfield partners, and to fulfill the high potential of this midfield: “There is a lot of talent, but how many games have we played together? Ten? We have to find balance, and that comes with time.”

The German also shared how his role changes when playing higher up on the pitch: “If I play there, I have to contribute numbers. In the final third, I’m closer to the goal, and that’s where you have to make a difference, providing the final pass or scoring.”

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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