“You have to meet the minimum objectives, the ‘Champions’ and be second, whatever”
BARCELONA, May 6. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The coach of FC Barcelona, Xavi Hernández, confirmed that the team will make way for Real Betis, as champion of the Copa del Rey, this Saturday in the duel of LaLiga Santander and assured that it is a matter of “respect” and “sportsmanship ” towards the rival, remembering that he had no problem making a corridor for Real Madrid, current league champion and that he will not have a corridor, except for something new, in the derby against Atlético de Madrid.
“For us the theme of the corridor is clear, it is a sign of respect and sportsmanship. Without further ado. If we do not teach that to the children, it would be a mistake. Betis deserves it, it is a competition that we have played and that Betis has won At the time I made the corridor for Madrid, I have no problem being sporty and having respect for the rival. The other thing is controversy and stories,” he assured at a press conference.
The corridor debate is alive with the Madrid derby. And, asked about Real Madrid and the value of the 0-4 achieved by Barça at the Bernabéu against the now league champion and ‘Champions’ finalist, Xavi acknowledged that they gave him and still give “a lot of value” to that victory.
“But the 0-4 were three points, not any title. The difference between their rivals in the ‘Champions’ and us is that we, when we could, finished them off. And Madrid, history says, when you forgive a 0 -2 or 0-3, history says they make great comebacks”, he pointed out as a difference with respect to PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, victims of Real Madrid’s epic comebacks this season in the Champions League.
“We attach importance to that 0-4 because it’s against the league champion and it’s in the ‘Champions’ final, and it tells us how to compete in the future. We have to try to be constant to compete for titles next year. This season has not come to us, but we have shown our legs and shown what we can be. But we have to be in decisive matches”, he argued, looking to the future and being able to fight for titles again.
He also recognized that this current difference between Barça and Madrid affects the Catalan fans. “Surely it affects many, Madrid and Barça are antagonists. But it doesn’t have to take us out of our reality, in November they told me that the objective was to enter the ‘Champions’, it is a minimum objective but it is our reality,” he lamented.
“This year we have to enter the ‘Champions’ no matter what, if it’s like second best. It’s a shame, but we have to be realistic. And from November to here the team has improved in terms of play and results in the League, not in competitions ‘KO’. Next year we will try to be more competitive and fight for the titles,” he said.
And, about a possible change of Blaugrana DNA in terms of the game, he flatly refused. “It’s not my message, it’s that of Barça’s history. It would take us years to win otherwise, maybe ten or fifteen. With this game idea, with this model, five ‘Champions’ have been achieved and many league titles and people’s recognition. People remember Guardiola’s Barça, Messi, our Barça. And how they played, not just what they won”, he recalled.
“How you play is crucial, and if you lose or draw there are still more reasons to insist and believe, it will take longer than usual and it will be with another coach, not me. But we have to go this way, history says so . Competing around there I think the fan feels more proud, and the player enjoys being the protagonist and attacking more than the rival. History says it, I don’t say it, “he reiterated.
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO SIGN MINIMUM OBJECTIVES
On the other hand, he assured that they are facing a “golden opportunity” to certify, at Benito Villamarín and against Real Betis, one of the remaining objectives, to qualify for the next ‘Champions’. “He is a direct rival, I said it when they came to the Camp Nou and beat us, there is always an opportunity for revenge and we have four games left and we have to meet these minimum objectives no matter what,” he was honest.
“Betis is a complicated rival, they come from winning the Cup, in a tremendous state of confidence, with great players and a coach and it will be difficult, but we are prepared and we will try to win these three points that certify us the ‘Champions'”, he appealed. “The objective is this classification and it is not done yet, we will go for it all. Then we will see the objectives to be met for next year”, he added.
In addition, they want revenge for the 0-1 loss at Camp Nou, in the first round. “They are celebrating and they deserve it. We have to congratulate them and they are having a fantastic season. It is a historic season for Betis. They have many very good individuals, but we want revenge and we want to win there”, he assured.