Xavi, about Barçagate: “The dressing room even makes jokes”

What does Cádiz have that has been putting Barça in trouble lately?

Yes, we expect a defensive rival, direct game with a lot of long game. At home we have dominance, but they take advantage of their chances. Last year we lost and it always costs. They defend very well.

Are you afraid that Pedri’s loss will be noticed like last year?

It is very important, vital for us. It makes a difference and gives us a lot, but there are other alternatives. Franck and Frenkie are doing well and Busquets is back. I hope we don’t find him missing as much as a year ago.

Will there be rotations?

Yes, regardless of the result and what we were at stake in Manchester, I would do them. The moment is tired, injured and there are other players who deserve it.

What happens to Lewandowski?

I don’t see him as bad, before he was extraordinary and now he’s fine. Maybe we should play with him more, but I’m happy with him because of how he works or moves. Maybe it’s time to take more advantage of it.

In the face of casualties, how does the party propose?

Casualties, fatigue, rotations, the rival influence, but the idea is always the same. There are many factors.

What does Fernando need?

Trust, when you are not well you need to believe in him and I believe in him. You must notice that confidence.

Game system:

“Sometimes we play with a 3-4-3, like at Real Sociedad, other times a 4-3-3… but never a 4-4-2. We always want to recover the ball in the opposite field, go up. Some say that we are a defensive team, it is incredible. We are the most attacking team in Europe for sure, along with City”.

Is Pablo Torre ready to start?

He is prepared to be a starter and he must be, we will need him. There are always people who don’t play. If I played, you would ask me for another. He is different from Pedri, he is very playmaker, he is not so much of a midfielder. He shoots, he reaches the area and there he makes the difference.

When can we see Dembélé?

It is difficult, there is a field, but the term depends on the sensations. First you have to train with the group.

How does praise from other coaches affect you?

You always like people to speak well of you, but what I’m looking for are results and for us to play the way I like.

Is it a game to test things for Manchester?

Many things can happen, but I’m not getting ahead of myself, I’ll think about Thursday. I didn’t count on not having Pedri on Thursday or not having Ronald tomorrow.

Can players be thrown off by system changes?

Everything is rehearsed in the week. No one is surprised.

Can Ansu be a Barça Rashford?

It will be important, it can be. It has the potential.

Is Araujo okay?

He has trained separately because tomorrow he will have a rest, that is why he has gone at a different pace.

Will Busquets start before the casualties there are?

His absence is always noticeable. We have noticed. He is recovered and it is great news for us.

Without Araújo will Eric play?

I have been unfair to him and he has trained with him. It deserves more minutes.

How have you matured as a coach?

In press conferences, especially (laughs) Not in moments of crisis and in drastic situations such as telling players that they can’t continue at the club. But I’m delighted to be with you too.

How do you see Raphinha?

Good. I am the one who has trusted him the most, I asked for it. He has nine assists. He is fast, he works for the team and scores. Zero doubts with him, he will succeed for sure.

How do you work with the staff in the face of the noise of the Negreira Case?

We practice Cádiz isolation. We only talk about Cádiz: we talk about Cádiz, we watch videos of Cádiz and we even joke. We focus on our work. We haven’t talked about this topic.

Would it bother you if LaLiga escapes?

The headline is “Xavi is annoyed, isn’t he?” You can write it down now (laughs) no, the key is to work for it because it hasn’t been won.

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