Xavi talks Pedri, Cancelo, Martinez, Felix, Roberto ahead of Barcelona vs Osasuna

FC Barcelona and Xavi Hernandez have a crucial few days coming ahead. The Catalans have already travelled to Saudi Arabia and will kick-off the defence of their Spanish Super Cup title with the match against Osasuna tomorrow.

This will be the team’s chance to win an important piece of silverware in the middle of the season, and a victory here can spur the team to perform at its best in the second half of the season.

In fact, Xavi and Laporta are expecting the team to win this tournament once again this year, and believe this win will then push the team to make a run in La Liga and the Champions League, just as the team did last year.

Xavi Hernandez has spoken to the press ahead of this match, and in this press conference addressed several questions related to the club and this tournament in particular. The head coach also answered some questions about some players in particular and Osasuna’s style.

The main highlights of the press conference are as follows:

Osasuna’s approach to the game

“We don’t know Osasuna’s approach yet, but they’re a tough opponent with an excellent coach who plans matches remarkably well. They can press in different blocks, play direct football, and deliver crosses from the wings… They always make it difficult for us. We won in Pamplona deservedly, but it was tough in the league.”

Barcelona’s mistakes

“We shouldn’t give anything away. We’ve had specific errors that complicate our games, but I believe we’re recovering our style of play. In a knockout competition, we can’t afford to repeat mistakes as they would penalize us.”

Game against Osasuna

“It’s a make-or-break game. We respect Osasuna, but hopefully, this Supercopa will give us the confidence we had last season.”

Pedri, Cancelo, Martinez

“The one closest to getting minutes is Pedri. Cancelo seems unlikely for tomorrow, maybe for the final. Iñigo won’t make it.”

Spanish Super Cup

“It’s an important title for us, even if it doesn’t have the same media attention as La Liga or the Champions League. In the last edition, we played very well in that final, and it was a turning point that we need now.”

“The team is ready to have a great tournament both physically and mentally.”

Winning the cup and Saudi League

“Of course, we’d like to repeat last season’s success, and winning the Spanish Super Cup could be a turning point for us to secure other titles. I also follow the Saudi league, keeping an eye on several clubs.”

Favourites for the cup

“Yes, we may be considered favorites for the semifinal, and we acknowledge and embrace that status. However, Osasuna excels in various aspects of the game, so it will be a tough match. Overall, we might not be considered favorites for the tournament considering Atlético and Madrid’s presence.”

Defensive mistakes

“Giving away defensively is penalizing us more than the lack of effectiveness in attack.”

Reaction from the players

“The players’ reaction is very positive; they see that if they don’t give their hundred percent, it’s not enough for us. The feeling of family doesn’t change, and I believe they see me as a convinced coach who relieves them of pressure.”

Winning with a high margin

“I’d sign for winning the semifinal and final by a narrow margin. This stat doesn’t worry me; other things concern me more.”

Expectations from the team

“The expectations in the environment are huge, aiming for excellence. We need to find the consistency we had in that Super Cup two years ago. Striving for excellence will lead us to win titles.”

Joao Felix

“Joao Félix? We’ll look for the best starting lineup and consider potential changes if there’s extra time. Joao has been important, and he will be. Everyone needs to be prepared no matter the minutes they play.”

Saudi League

“The Saudi league will grow as much as its leaders want. Their clubs were among the best when I competed in the Asian Champions League with Al-Sadd in Qatar.”

Sergi Roberto

“Sergi Roberto is versatile, capable of playing in multiple positions, and provides a guarantee.”