Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez spoke to the media on Friday to preview his team’s next La Liga clash against Real Betis at Montjuic.
The team are back in action after the international break and will be aiming for all three points against Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Xavi spoke about several of his players, looked ahead to the game and also offered an upate on his contract renewal.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Barcelona vs Real Betis
Everyone has returned well, only a scare with Gundogan but they are ready. We have a difficult rival, a great team, technically one of the best with Isco, Ayoze, Borja Iglesias. Having the ball will be key, having it, long possession. We need to win these three games at home and we need the fans. People should go to Montjuic.
Xavi on if Lamine Yamal will play
Three weeks ago you told me that I didn’t dare put him in and now you’re telling me not to put him in so much. We will treat him as one of our own. Bojan’s role will be important with him. We will take care of him. He has personality and talent.
Xavi on renewing his contract
I spoke about it with Deco, with the president, before with Mateu. It’s about achieving success, titles, not long contracts. I will never be a problem for the club. My renewal will be announced soon, without a doubt.
Xavi on Ez Abde
Let’s see, we have a buyback option, we haven’t lost him entirely. It was his personal decision to leave. He wanted to play every minute and we cannot guarantee that. We are at Barça. I already told him. I don’t know if he will be a starter at Betis. I trust him but there is competition here.
Xavi on rotating
Rotation will be necessary, there are seven games in 20 days. There is a squad for that. There are players who are coming back from the national team and some will rest.
Xavi on Ilkay Gundogan and Ronald Araujo
We’ll see how [Gundo] is today, yesterday he did part of the training, let’s see today. Tomorrow we will decide. In principle he will be available. Ronald is doing very well and this week if he goes well he will be discharged.
Xavi on Vitor Roque
Deco told me that he will arrive in January. We will see in January, but in principle there will be no problem. There is no point talking about this now.
Xavi on Ferran Torres
I told him yesterday, there is a lot of merit in what he has overcome. They have criticised him and almost laughed at him. He has turned the tables. He has spectacular mental strength. He is an example even for the staff. We trust him and he will be important because he has earned it.
Xavi on Pedri
Everyon has a plan but this is elite sport, there are injuries in all teams. We are seeing it, with Vinicius. With Pedri we are very careful, but it is inevitable because the schedule is very demanding and the player says enough and that’s it. It is normal, it happens in all clubs, at City, at Madrid. We have minimized injuries a lot since I’ve been here and we are doing a great job.