Xavi picks surprise club that he wants Barcelona to avoid in UCL knockouts

HAMBURG, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 07: Head coach Xavi Harnandez of Barcelona looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League match between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Barcelona at Volksparkstadion on November 07, 2023 in Hamburg, Germany.
Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

FC Barcelona have been able to qualify for the knock-out rounds of the UEFA Champions League after a gap of two years.

In the last two editions, the Catalans finished third in their group and thus were relegated to the Europa League, which was something almost unthinkable for a club of Barcelona’s stature.

However, the Catalans have improved significantly this season, and this is showcased by their advancement to the Round of 16 of the Champions League.

But this qualification now naturally leads to anxiety about the even difficult stages of the tournament, and there is already speculation on which sides the Catalans can face in the next round.

In this regard, a question was also put to Xavi Hernandez after the match against Porto, which has been reported by SPORT. The Barcelona head coach was asked to name one team that he would want to avoid in the next round, and his response left almost everyone in the press room surprised:

“Meeting Porto again? I wouldn’t like it if we advance to the quarter-finals. They are tough, very strong opponents. Today, we’ve beaten a very important rival.”

There are other very difficult teams in the competition that might be more troublesome than Porto, but Xavi complemented the Portuguese club in a way with these comments.

The victory last night was important not only because it paved the club’s way to the knock-out rounds, but also because it puts FC Barcelona in the pole position to finish first in the group, and thus get a weaker rival in the Round of 16.

Getting only a single point against Royal Antwerp will ensure Barcelona’s first position, as Shakhtar Donetsk and Porto both are three points behind the Catalan club as things stand now.

The Latest

Barcelona already have their solutions for the flanks ready – report

Barcelona understand that the market is not as accessible for them as it used to be. In the past, the Catalan giants used to...

Xavi’s new Barcelona experiment continues to flourish – report

Tactical adjustments are key for any team competing at the top level, including FC Barcelona. La Blaugrana have been left this season without all...

Xavi remains torn apart between Barcelona wonderkid and veteran soldier

It seems that the selection dilemmas at Barcelona continue to run rampant. With two competitions still alive for La Blaugrana, rotations and selections have...

Man City ace’s agent has meeting with Barcelona director – report

FC Barcelona continue to look forward to sorting out their future objectives ahead of time. However, the Catalan giants have often faced a lot...

Deco seems open to Xavi’s continuation at Barcelona – report

It seems that certain decisions with Barcelona are not as advanced as people might have thought. The Catalan club continues to work timely and...

Barcelona already have an alternative plan in mind for Xavi

FC Barcelona continue to suffer when it come to their management and player selection. While a lack of specialists has cost them dearly this...

Barcelona, Bayern set to compete for Italian mastermind – report

While all the big European clubs have a specific character that sets them apart from one another, FC Barcelona is one of the most...

Stars aligning for Barcelona loanee to get back into Brighton starting XI

The various FC Barcelona players playing out on loan this season are having varying degrees of success with their respective sides. Among these players,...

Yamal’s youth partner-in-crime set to be next Barcelona revelation

FC Barcelona continue their dependence and trust when it comes to their youth products. Many of the talents of La Blaugrana from their own...