Xavi Hernandez was in good form ahead of the season’s second Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, with this one having silverware on the line in the Supercopa de Espana final.
Barcelona lost the season’s first Clasico 3-1 in October at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but the former midfielder is confident that the Catalans will be able to stop Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti‘s incredible success in finals. ??
“You don’t give me any hope, do you?” Xavi joked when reminded of Ancelotti’s record in finals. “Records are for breaking, and you should remember that I’ve also been very lucky in finals. ??
“We need to know where we are as a group, and you telling me that Ancelotti hasn’t lost a final since 2010 only motivates me more.”
Having fallen to defeat against Los Blancos already this season, the Blaugana boss knows better than anybody how much of a threat the Spanish and European champions pose.
“I see Real Madrid in the same way that I always have – they’re strong everywhere,” Xavi said. “They’re well organised tactically, and strong.
“They have players who can make a difference and are a really strong opponent. They’re the domestic and European champions. Real Madrid are Real Madrid and they have an extra level in finals.
“We are very motivated and have that little bit extra because it’s Real Madrid. Everything would change with a trophy in the cabinet, but Real Madrid are dangerous even if they don’t play well.”
Asked about the youthfulness of his side, the coach suggested that it should mean there is extra hunger to win a trophy, and he was then questioned about Real Madrid having one day’s more rest ahead of the final.
“Yeah, it could have been done more fairly, but it’s not an excuse for us,” Xavi said. “Everybody is available, and even if you’re not 100 percent it’s a final and you make yourself available. ??
“You play football to play in finals against Real Madrid. It is a huge opportunity to win a trophy.
“Winning is a non-negotiable at Barcelona. We live for that. Our goals are trophies. We are so close to winning one and we have to go after it. We want to win it for us, not because of who the opposition are.”
The coach was then quizzed about the earlier defeat to Los Blancos in LaLiga Santander, and was confident that lessons were learned.
“It’s a different game to that,” Xavi insisted. “We’ll try to control the transitions moe and to disarm them in defence.
“They’re a strong side, but our approach won’t differ much from October.”