Barcelona: Xavi: If Barcelona win LaLiga Santander, it will be a very good season

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez assessed the situation in the dressing room ahead of the league clash against Almeria and after the elimination, at Old Trafford, from the Europa League.

He insisted that they have already turned the page and that they must focus on the two titles they still aspire to: LaLiga Santander and the Copa del Rey.

“If we win LaLiga it will be a very good season, it would be very good,” Xavi reflected.

“It depends on us. We are in a good situation, also in the Copa.

“We have the desire to win. It would be a very good season.”

Bouncing back

The coach also opened up on his feelings after the defeat on Thursday night which dealt a real blow to the LaLiga Santander leaders.

“The message is that we carry on,” Xavi insisted.

“The biggest disappointment is the failure in the Champions League, now we have the league and the cup, we already have the Super Cup.

“The goal is to keep winning titles, it hurts us to lose but we have to keep competing, yesterday the sun came out again.

“We will try not to let it affect us, change the chip, think positively, we have a good dynamic.

“We haven’t lost since the [Estadio Santiago] Bernabeu, now we are going to a difficult ground, Almeria, and we are going for the three points.”

Facing the critics

Both Xavi and his players have faced criticism since the loss in Manchester, but the coach was adamant that it isn’t affecting him.

“I have read almost nothing or nothing. It doesn’t change me,” he insisted.

“If we had qualified you’d say we’re back, and we’re not, so you are sensationalist. But we could have won or lost.

“It is time to raise our spirits. We showed our faces, we gave a very good showing.

“Now we have to compete in the league and the cup, we accept the criticism.”

One of those to face criticism was Robert Lewandowski, who has not regained full form in 2023.

“He is aware that this is a medium- and long-term project, he is aware of where he is,” Xavi responded when asked about the Polish international.

“I think we are more competitive than last year and we can win titles, he has seen that we have competed.

“He has to concentrate, like everyone else, on winning the league and the cup, I think he participates more, comes more to receive, unloads, associates… we have to look for him more in the area.

“We lack the last pass, the cross… we have to look for him, but he participates a lot in the team’s attacking play.”

One eye on Thursday’s Clasico

Despite Sunday’s game against Almeria being the focus for now, Barcelona face a trip to play Real Madrid in the Spanish capital on Thursday.

“It is a different competition from the league, from Europe, it’s a round-robin, two legs,” Xavi said as he looked ahead to the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg.

“There’s still the second leg, we’re focused on Almeria, and then we’ll talk about Thursday.”