Barcelona entered the new season as one of the favorites for the Champions League after investing about €200 million in the summer transfer window.
The team was in high spirits, they were playing champagne football, and it appeared that nobody could miss a step.
But by October, reality had fast overtaken them. Xavi and company struggled to compete against Inter Milan, losing one game and drawing another while missing numerous players due to injuries.
The squad is currently at risk of relegating to the Europa League for a second consecutive season. Unfortunately, Viktoria Plzen is more responsible for qualifications than they are.
Xavi addressed the media as part of his pre-game press conference. Here is what he has to say.
Xavi on pressure and motivation ahead of crunch Bayern clash
Xavi asked about the pressure to win the game against Bayern, and he said. “Even if Milan’s encounter ended in defeat, this game is crucial for us. Tomorrow, we must triumph, display our caliber, and seize opportunities.”
“Although it is not up to us, we must demonstrate tomorrow that we are on par with these clubs. No matter what happens in Milan, we must win tomorrow.”
“We must maintain the same mindset, respond in the same manner, and maintain the same feelings even if we advance to the next round.”
“We have some hope, but it’s quite challenging. It’s a pretty awkward scenario. In football, the deserving winner doesn’t always prevail.”
Xavi: "Hope is the last thing to be lost. The misfortune is that we are dependent on ourselves anymore." pic.twitter.com/npzHEKH5J6
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) October 25, 2022
Xavi on playing style against Bayern
On playing four midfielders vs. Bayern: “Using four midfielders allows us to play with more assurance while losing the ball less frequently.”
“We came out against Athletic’s intense pressure effectively the other day because we well grasped the situation. We are ready to impose our style, in the same manner, tomorrow as well.”
??| Xavi may start four midfielders against Bayern Munich: Gavi, Busquets, Frenkie & Pedri.@gbsans [?️]
— Managing Barça (@ManagingBarca) October 25, 2022
On playing with a false 9: “It depends on the game. Although the team must have a central striker, you can still adapt to a different system, such as the false nine we frequently employ at Barcelona, if that striker is not present.”
Xavi on starting XI
On the starting XI: “Since yesterday, I’ve chosen the starting lineup. Regardless of what occurs in Milan, I am sure of it.”
On Franck Kessie: “You’ll find out tomorrow. He is a crucial player who made a strong entry in the most recent game.”
“Franck is competent, provides the squad depth, and prevails in one-on-one situations. He is a crucial player.”
On his chosen left-back: “Everyone is willing to participate in any game. Being a center defender, Alonso is adjusting well. Alejandro is doing well, and I’m pleased with him. Likewise with Alba.”
On Sergio Busquets: “We are here to win games and trophies; we are not here for tests. Depending on how the matchups turn out, I will utilize Busquets and Frenkie. Busquets is still a significant player for me.”
On Ansu Fati: “He performed admirably against Villarreal and Athletic and even scored a goal in that match. Which is excellent.”
Sergi Roberto’s injury: “Roberto’s injury is sensitive, he was in a good spot, and I have full faith in his skills.”
? | Xavi: “I have a lot of faith in Sergi Roberto. His injury will be tough for us and it’s a shame because he was playing at his best.” pic.twitter.com/vWSqK5a8Jt
— La Senyera (@LaSenyera) October 25, 2022