MADRID, 7 Jan. (.) –
The coach of FC Barcelona, Xavi Hernández, has ensured that this Sunday’s LaLiga Santander match against Atlético de Madrid at the Cívitas Metropolitano “will not decide anything”, but he is aware that winning would be “a blow on the table” , and has stated that he focuses on his players being able to be “more effective”.
“Every week it is this: the next game is the most important. LaLiga will not decide anything, but it would be a blow on the table in the Metropolitan. It is a complicated field, a difficult opponent, they are a rock defensively. It will be difficult for us to generate things and You have to be more effective than in the last two games. It’s a very important game, but not transcendental for the future of LaLiga”, he declared at a press conference.
In this sense, he described the visit to the Metropolitan as one of the most complicated of the championship. “Tomorrow we have a very important game, in a very complicated field, one of the most difficult outings we will have in LaLiga. We are going to compete and try to be protagonists with the game. We have to be more effective and be ourselves, show our personality. game has been good, but we have to be more effective,” he said.
“Cholo’s teams are defensively very well worked. Normally they use a 5-3-2 or 4-4-2 system, it is difficult to predict what they are going to do, they are a chameleonic team. We have to be prepared for what that Atlético proposes to us. They are almost perfect on the defensive line, it will be difficult for us to generate things, but we must take advantage of what we can have”, he continued.
Regarding the team’s lack of forcefulness, the Catalan coach considers that it is “more a mental issue than a game one.” “In recent games we have dominated and we have created chances, but we have to kill the games. We have to be more forceful in the areas. We are much better than our rivals but we have specific errors,” he said.
Nor does he believe that there is a lack of footballers with leadership in the dressing room. “We have them, sometimes it is not necessary to raise your voice, just show personality. Iniesta did not raise his voice, but he wanted them all. There is always someone who expresses it with their voice and others with personality. We have different profiles. It is not a problem of personality or leadership. Everyone knows their role in the squad and that’s not the problem,” he said.
In another order of things, Xavi explained how he handled the issue of Ronald Araujo’s injury and his participation with Uruguay in the World Cup. “Ronald’s role is going to be very important. He is a central defender who corrects behind us, of a high category. The conversations with Diego Alonso were very clear and we stuck to the player’s feelings. The important thing is that he is one hundred percent. He accumulated 60 minutes at a high level,” he said.
About Ceuta, rival in the round of 16 Cup, he explained that they have been “lucky for the first time” to play the rival of lesser category. “But we have to prove it. On paper, it seems we’ve been lucky, but we have to prove it. The other day Intercity put us on the ropes. We want to play a great game and get through the tie,” he stressed.
Regarding the duel in Alicante, he was somewhat annoyed when mention was made of the ‘almost stumble’ of the Catalans (3-4). “We ‘avoid ridicule’ and the others ‘go through the tie’, right? There are still games left, we will see how the physical load team arrives. We watch tomorrow’s game and we will see how they end up tired, sanctioned, injured. .. We follow a bit the philosophy of ‘Cholo’, match by match”, he said.
Lastly, he did not want to value Antoine Griezmann’s past at FC Barcelona. “I don’t know the situation he experienced here. He is an important player for Atlético de Madrid, he touches a lot of balls, generates, has the last pass and is very important for ‘Cholo’. He makes the difference in the last third and is an important rival “, finished.