MADRID, Sep. 12 (.) –
The coach of FC Barcelona, Xavi Hernández, has ensured that the result that is given this Tuesday in the match of the second day of the group stage of the Champions League against Bayern Munich “does not change absolutely anything” what they are going to do this season and that it will not be “a sentence”, and foresees a “very intense” clash in which “there will be a tremendous fight to have the ball”.
“I think there are a lot of expectations for us this season. Tomorrow’s game doesn’t change anything, win, draw or lose. We can’t draw conclusions from just one game. It’s a challenge to win here, it’s been nine months and everything is different. We arrived at a better time than last year, we have been working together for nine months, we see ourselves capable of competing tomorrow. We are excited to win tomorrow and change history and dynamics in some way,” he declared at a press conference.
In addition, he stressed that they play “against one of the best teams in the world”, “with a great coach who works very well”. “We have changed players, dynamics, we are in a good moment of form, but I would not like a sentence to be made tomorrow. Everything will continue. There are three points in the group stage”, he explained.
“It’s Bayern Munich. I’ve experienced both sides of the coin; football is cyclical, there have been very good times for Barça and not so good for them, and vice versa. We haven’t won on this field, that speaks of the difficulty we have tomorrow. I think we’re capable, we’re in a good moment of form and we’re looking forward to it”, he added, recalling the 3-0 loss suffered last season at the Allianz Arena.
About the match that he expects, the Catalan coach was very clear. “I see a very even game, both teams want to have the ball, we both press with high pressure, we both suffer without the ball, we leave space behind the defense… I see a very intense game and there will be a tremendous fight for have the ball. I see a very intense game, aggressive also at many moments. We will try to dominate the game even if it is Bayern who have control of the ball”, he ventured.
“Each game you have to vindicate yourself, this doesn’t stop. Every game you say it’s the moment of truth. This is Barça. Tomorrow is another moment of truth, of course. It’s the ‘Champions’, it’s against Bayern. It is an extraordinary challenge to come back here, last year we had a very bad time and I think that this year we can compete better,” he continued.
“We arrived at a good moment, but many times it doesn’t mean anything. Tomorrow we will try to show personality against what for me is one of the best teams in the world,” he said. “We cannot draw conclusions from the latest results against Bayern, we had a very bad time. Tomorrow we have to compete very well. If we play like we have lately we have chances of winning the game. Here we have experienced them in all colors”, he stressed.
About what things have changed in the team since last year’s duel, Xavi is clear: “the mentality”. “That day we talked a lot after the game and I told them that this was Barça, that here you have to run, show personality and give everything on the pitch. The image was not good. We had 20 good minutes, but above all we have changed the mentality You can lose a game, but you have to go to win it. We have won in personality and mentality”, he explained.
“LEWANDOWSKI IS A NATURAL LEADER”
In another order of things, Xavi, who confessed that the eleven is “clear” “except for last-minute annoyances”, praised Polish striker Robert Lewandoski, who will face his former team. “I have seen Robert well, calm, he transmits confidence. He is a natural leader for the group. I imagine it will be a very special game for him, he is very motivated. He rested the other day and will be fresh,” he said.
“We have Robert’s trick, but we have other players. Robert is very important to us: how he unloads the ball, how he presses high in defence, how he understands the game, the timing… He has a fantastic understanding of the game. tricks in attack and we want to show it tomorrow,” he continued.
Finally, he was “surprised” by the fact that Julian Nagelsmann is being questioned about the start of the Bavarians in the Bundesliga, and highlighted his players. “Müller is a fantastic player, he has been making a difference for many years, he is a tremendous leader. We don’t usually mark the man, it is always difficult to mark a footballer who understands the game well”, he concluded.