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Xavi reveals the meaning of winning the Super Cup, swapping Depay and what he said about Real Madrid

2023-01-14

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez confirmed today, Saturday, that winning the Spanish Super Cup over Real Madrid “will mean a lot to us,” recalling that they have not lifted the trophy for a long time.

“It’s a very strong competitor in all aspects,” Xavi said in a press conference before the Super Cup final that the two giants will play on Sunday in Riyadh.

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“In the finals he has very high competitive genes and we will try to match him. We are very excited,” he added.

“The title will mean a lot to us and even more so against Madrid. The Barcelona coach insisted that whatever happens, the season will continue, but with a title in your pocket, everything changes.”

“It’s been a long time since we’ve won titles. We have to show our will, it’s not negotiable,” said Xavi, insisting. “Tomorrow is a great opportunity. We have to use our five senses to achieve this final. It makes us particularly excited, and also because we are Madrid.” It will mean a lot to Barcelona fans.”

The Barcelona coach avoided making parallels to the classic first league match that Real Madrid won 3-1 last October.

“Different. We arrived at different times, and now we have the whole team,” he explained.

“We will try to show our personality and from there we will control their transformations and disarm them in defense where they are very strong,” he added.

Asked about the VAR and the introduction of semi-automatic offside for the first time in this competition, which led to the disallowance of a goal for Barcelona on Thursday in the semi-final against Betis, Xavi was in favor.

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“With VAR, the football flavor of the celebration is a bit lost, but on the other hand, it was more fair. I like the fairness of the VAR.”

Full press conference

How do you see Madrid?

As always, very strong physically and tactically. Very strong in transitions. He’s a great competitor. It is the strongest competitor in the European Champion League. Real Madrid, who also have a competitive finals gene, is always something special. And we have to match that. We are excited and excited. The title means a lot to us, and more to a competitor. Whatever happens tomorrow, we have to keep going. But with the title in his pocket, he would give confidence.

The mentality is also important. Does Barcelona have more pressure to win?

The psychological aspect is key and they have the advantage and have more experience. But hunger must give us strength. It’s been a long time since we won the title and we have to be hungry, as I said to the players against Betis. Juniors must show hunger, veterans, class and experience. I see it as an advantage to show this hunger for titles.

Barcelona plays well for the first few minutes but then it cuts out.

There are things that always worry me. There is never perfection in the game. We must try to minimize errors. But there is always a competitor holding you back. You have to press.

Do you like semi-automatic stealth?

There are two things. Same with the VAR, you lose a little football, the celebration… But on the other hand, it’s fairer and I like fairness. Less explainable plays, others are just as flawless as sneaks. But I like the justice of the VAR.

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Madrid had another rest day. Should I change this?

Yes, this could be done next year. It would be fairer, but it’s not an excuse. In principle, they are all available and final tomorrow. Even if you’re half injured, you should be there. When you start playing football as a kid, that’s what it’s for. to play the finals against Madrid. We are not afraid, we are not worried. We are in front of a golden opportunity to win a title that means a lot in the middle of the season. So go to the Super Cup.

Do you feel like you’re facing a non-negotiable opportunity?

Is that winning at Barcelona is non-negotiable and the goal is titles. And if there is another competitor is the same. We will pursue them with enthusiasm and motivation.

What does winning a title mean to you, did you learn from last year?

I have already said that I do not prioritize myself. I give priority to Barcelona. Barcelona is more important than anyone else. I am the coach and as the person in charge I will try to plan well. But tomorrow is a great opportunity. Being Madrid, we will be very excited.

How will you call the players?

Well this one. I would trade for one of them, even if it meant being benched. That’s why we play. For people, to feel good, is important. I’m so excited for tomorrow. As a coach, it’s a shame because you suffer more. The other day I got angry because I thought footballers think they shouldn’t be 2-2 in a game and I don’t know if they know they’re going to play a final.

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Will you consider 3-1?

Different. We arrive at different times. We will try to show our personality. Showcase our game model and defend it in the best possible way.

Played many Super Cups… Do you remember anything like that?

We have a commitment to this title. We are Barcelona and we are here to win it.

What qualities should Araujo play as a right-back?

Defensively it’s extraordinary. It’s a massive concealer for us, especially on Madrid Day.

Is Gavi necessary?

This passion and this intensity are always necessary. We’ll see if we can play with four midfielders, two wingers, and a line of three. Depending on how competitors attack, we’ll see how to do it. He gives us many things. I did not decide. We will choose. I don’t think it has to do with individuality. The important thing is to prepare well for the game. Often it is not about names. Many things can change.

Ancelotti hasn’t lost a single final since 2010.

It gives me a lot of hope… (laughs). But I look motivated by the truth. It was difficult for us to get here and if Ancelotti hasn’t lost a final since 2010, that motivates me even more.

Did you ask Carrasco if Memphis was leaving?

I said before that I don’t want anyone to leave. If someone wants to leave and asks you out, you have to cover and you have to make up for this potential loss.