Xavi talks change in tactics, Dembele, injuries, Balde after the 4-0 win against Athletic

Xavi spoke about the change in tactics, Dembele’s performance, injuries, Balde’s performance, the situation in the dressing room, and the competition on the wings in his post-match press conference after the game against Athletic Club.

Xavi’s post-match press conference after the 4-0 win against Athletic Club

Xavi on playing Four midfielders:

“We knew that they were going to put a lot of pressure on us, so we played with another midfielder. The team understood my plan.”

Xavi on Dembele’s performance:

“Dembélé had a great match. For wingers, they can have good or bad plays. With Dembélé, we want him to keep the good things. If you’re not playing well, sometimes you have to limit yourself and play more simply. He has to understand that.”

“We want Dembélé to always play at this level. That’s why I wanted him to stay and gave him so much confidence.”

Xavi on injured players:

“Gavi is fine. Sergi Roberto’s issue seems to be more serious.”

Xavi on his team’s performance:

“People analyze matches solely based on results. Against Inter, for example, we didn’t play badly. We competed very well.”

Xavi on the competition on wings:

“Ferran, Ansu, Ousmane… all of them want to play and competition is welcome. When we rest Lewandowski, we can play Ansu or Ferran as a striker. By the way, Ferran was great again and Raphinha will continue to be important, I’m sure.”

Xavi on the situation of the dressing room:

“The dressing room is united, and their mission is to give back the love to the Camp Nou.”

Xavi on the defeat in El Classico:

“We didn’t play well against Madrid. They were better and more mature. That’s that.”

Xavi on Balde’s performance:

“Balde plays with a lot of confidence. He has competition in his position, but that is a good thing. Balde was playing at a spectacular level. He has enormous potential, technically and physically.”

Xavi on the level of La Liga:

“Competitiveness has gone up a lot. Many La Liga teams have raised their level: Real Sociedad, Athletic, Villarreal, Sevilla, Atletico…”

Xavi on the most versatile players in Barca’s squad:

“Pedri, Gavi, Sergi Roberto, and Marcos Alonso are our most versatile players.”

Xavi on Kounde’s impressive performance:

“I’m not surprised with Kounde. I insisted on his signing because I know how great he is.”

That concluded Xavi’s post-match press conference.

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