Xavi talks Pele, Lewandowski, Araujo, Mateu Lahoz ahead of Barca vs Espanyol

Xavi’s pre-match press conference ahead of Barca vs Espanyol

Xavi spoke about the game against Espanyol, Ronald Araujo’s physical condition, Lewandowski’s participation against Espanyol, Busquets’ future, Lamine Yamal, Pele, the club’s fourth captain, and Mateu Lahoz ahead of the match against Espanyol in his pre-match press conference.

Xavi on the game against Espanyol:

“It’s a derby, we’re motivated after a month and a half without competing. We’re excited, we’re looking forward, we’re back in a competition where we’re still leaders.”

Xavi on the availability of the entire squad:

“We have the whole squad available. Now the problem is for the coach. It’s up to me to manage. We’re up against a well-drilled team and it’s a complicated match.”

Xavi on Lewandowski being available against Espanyol:

“We found out when the training session was over. We prepared for the game with the idea that we couldn’t count on him. It’s not the best timing but we are very happy that he can play against Espanyol. He was also surprised by the timing.”

“For me, it is a disproportionate sanction. Now the referees’ committee has two to three days. It would be good to know when we won’t be able to count on him. It should have been known before.”

Xavi on Koundé and Dembélé:

“They are all on the list. Also Koundé and Dembélé. We will see the workload and manage the minutes.”

Xavi on Busquets’ future:

“He has a contract until June and then we will see. It’s more a personal feeling of his. How he sees himself in the team, for me, he is fundamental. It will depend on him, more than on the club and me, but we will try to convince him.”

Xavi on the upcoming January window:

“It will be a quiet market. I’m happy with those who are here and we will compete with them. I’m delighted with the squad we have, we only have the loss of Piqué, I prefer that no one leaves and I’m very happy with these players.”

Xavi on Dembélé:

“He’s fine, he’s happy, I see him very happy. It seems like a failure to reach a final as a starter. In another sport he would be a silver medalist, I think he has been at a high level both at the World Cup and with us. He will continue to be a key player.”

Xavi on the effect of the World Cup break:

“The World Cup will affect the season, but hopefully for the better. We’ve given them seven, ten days to switch off. We’ve got practically everyone back to compete for everything.”

Xavi on Ronald Araujo’s condition:

“When he was there with the Uruguayan National Team, we had communication with the coach. In the end, the player’s feelings decide, and he told us that he is very well, but we have to slow him down a bit. He won’t start, but he could have minutes.”

Xavi on Eric García:

“He has felt some discomfort. We’ll see if he can play tomorrow, but I don’t think his injury is serious. We are still counting on him for tomorrow’s game.”

Xavi on Lamine Yamal:

“We follow all the youth players and Lamine is a very talented player. We have a project for him, he has a tremendous natural talent and he is a very important asset and in the future, we can have a great footballer.”

Xavi on Pelé:

“I send my condolences to Pelé’s family and to the Brazilian people on his death. All players see Pelé, Maradona, and Messi as role models and wish to be like them. I have the utmost respect for Pelé.”

Xavi on who will be The fourth captain:

“The fourth captain has been chosen as of this week. It will be Ter Stegen because of his seniority and experience.”

Xavi on Mateu Lahoz assigned to officiate Barcelona Derby:

“I like him, he communicates, he tells you the reasons, and he talks a lot to the players, I think that’s good. He can make mistakes, it’s difficult to be a referee. At least he justifies it. I personally like him a lot.”

Xavi on Raphinha:

“He is open to playing more on the left. He’s more comfortable on the right, it depends on the game. I’ve spoken to him this week and he’s open to any position. And Ousmane can play on the left perfectly well.”

Xavi on his routine during the World Cup break:

“I spent the World Cup break analyzing football. Analyzing training sessions, insisting on what we are doing. Improving on strategy. The brain doesn’t stop, in my case, it’s 24 hours.”

Xavi on Piqué’s decision:

“It was discussed and he decided. He saw that he was playing less than expected and it was his decision.”

Xavi on Busquets:

“Busquets still has six months left on his contract. We are focused on what happens this season and we have a lot at stake. We can’t make plans. I haven’t spoken to Busquets yet about continuing.”

Xavi on the performances of Barca players in the World Cup:

“Beyond the result of the World Cup, where there are always disappointments; I think most of them have been at a good level, even though the results have not been favorable. Some didn’t play, like Eric and Ter Stegen, but the rest of them were at a good level.”

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