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“Messi’s thing is up in the air and it depends on him”

"Messi's thing is up in the air and it depends on him"

Xavi Hernández spoke this Monday before the match against Valladolid. Barça no longer has anything at stake because they are League champions but they have many current fronts open that the coach, almost as a weekly spokesperson, must deal with. These were his impressions.

Valladolid plays it. How do you plan the game this Tuesday?

What is happening these days is that the one who needs the most is winning. It may be that the day of the Real happened to us. But we are going there to win, to get a good result and we will bring out the best possible team to try to get three points. Let there be no doubt. We want to finish with good feelings.

What is your opinion of racism in Spanish football, what is wrong here?

In general, unfortunately, there have always been cases of racism in football and it is a shame that this will happen in 2023. Any act of racism must be condemned. Here there are no shields, they are people, and acts of racism such as that of Vinicius at the Mestalla must be condemned.

What should the team improve next season?

Have more of a winning mentality. Do not err on the side of ambition. We want to win all the titles next season. We will see how far we can go in terms of transfers, but we are already planning and we want to fight for everything.

Taking into account the economic situation, is the right back no longer a priority?

It would not be the number one priority. Busquets is leaving and it is evidence that we need a high-level defensive midfielder next season. A very differential footballer is leaving and we must replace him in the best possible way. And, from there, there are other priorities, but the midfielder is the first.

He has just condemned any act of racism in football. Should the matches be stopped?

Yes. I like the question because I have always thought about it. I am in my field of work. I am on the bench and they call me son of such. I don’t see any worker, or any baker suffer from this. Insult? Do not play. No teacher is insulted. If you insult a worker, a brick falls on your head. You have to impose yourself. I don’t have to put up with insults during my working hours. I’ve always thought about it, but it’s time to say enough is enough.

What would you propose with the rest of the clubs?

It’s not up to me to decide, but we should get together and get tough on this. It is an educational issue. If I go to see the theater and I don’t like it, I don’t insult. And the referees, etc. You have to take off your shirt in this. Vinicius is a person, you have to defend anyone above any shirt.

It was clear to give this message.

Clear. You have to defend not Vinicius in particular, but the football professional. We must defend the profession of the footballer, the coach, the journalist. I have always thought about it, but now that I am in this situation I take the opportunity to say it.

Do you have Ansu or are you pending a meeting with the player?

Nothing is decided. We only know that Busquets does not continue. From there, we’ll see. From within we are pending fairplay and see how far we can go.

Vinicius made a statement this Sunday. He spoke of Spain as a racist country.

I don’t think we have to get to the point of saying that Spain is racist or that LaLiga is racist. But there have been acts of racism. And it’s hard to set an example and not bounce back if you get insulted. And that is what happens to Vinicius. But Spain is not racist, I wouldn’t say that much.

The other day he talked about Zubimendi. What is his opinion of Kimmich?

The sports director of Real Sociedad got angry but you ask me, I don’t want to destabilize any team. Kimmich is a spectacular footballer, one of the best in the world.

Have you felt unfairly treated?

Yes. In many moments, yes. But when you understand the environment, there are people who prioritize cronyism over Barcelona. That is the summary of the environment.

Will Pablo Torre play?

You will have minutes, sure. Everyone has trained well, they have formed a group. And it is time to dose people and give minutes.

What do you think of there being Barcelona fans who want them to lose tomorrow to harm Espanyol?

That is the fanaticism of the rivalry between Barça and Espanyol. But we want to win. We risk prestige and image. We are Barça and we have to go out and win.

What do you say to the skeptics about the signing of Messi?

What is in the air It depends on many things. Little more I can say. He is a spectacular person and we are going to see if he can give it. It depends on his intention, on Messi.

How are the registrations for Gavi and Araújo?

Let’s hope it’s as soon as possible. Mateu Alemany is working on it. But that’s what Mateu wears.

Do you see Nico as a pivot?

He played a great game yesterday and is growing. The pity is that she was injured. We will see. It is part of the planning. You ask me about Ansu, Pablo Torre, Nico… We’ll see. He is a player on loan and he must return.

Which youngsters do you see with more captain material?

It doesn’t worry me because there are many leaders in the team, starting with Ter Stegen, Koundé, Araújo. Gavi can be captain of Barça, Pedri. Lewandowski is a captain without an armband. Sergi Roberto, Alba stays… But it is not an issue that worries me too much.

What do you expect from Deco?

I have a friendly relationship with Deco and at the moment there is nothing official. We will see. Rafa has advanced it but until there is nothing official, I do not dare.

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