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25.05.2009 14:44

Xavi: “We’re coming into the final in great shape”

Berta Brau

The midfielder described the Rome final as “one of the most important games we’ll play” and Barça needs to maintain “the character we’ve shown all season”. Xavi says that “everything’s ready for the final”.

Xavi Hernàndez is one of the players who will be hoping to make up for the Paris final which he missed through injury. He sought to dispel any fears that Barça fans may have: “Everything’s ready for the final. We’re coming into the game in great physical and psychological shape. We’ll do everything we can to bring the third European Cup back to Barcelona”.

Henry and Iniesta

QM3D3715.jpgHenry and Iniesta are two of the big doubts for the final. “They have been really important all season,” admitted Xavi. Even though neither player has got the green light yet from club doctors, he says they’re looking good in training and believes they will be there: “They’re working well and I think they will be able to play, and we’re a better team if they can”.

Tough rival

Xavi says he doesn’t know how Manchester United will approach the game as they have the players to attack or defend equally well. “Since I don’t know what sort of game they’ll play, what we have to do is get hold of the ball, dominate midfield and attack,” he said. “Winning means we have to impose our own style.”

The voice of experience

25-05-09_WEB_XAVI_02.jpgPep Guardiola knows all about playing in and winning Champions League finals and he’s been giving his players the benefit of his advice. “The boss has told us to play the way we have all season, to enjoy ourselves and go for it from the off,” said Xavi. “He also reminded us that we need to control our nerves and emotions.”

Messi and Eto'o

Xavi Hernàndez made it clear that as far as he is concerned Messi is the world’s best player and Samuel Eto'o is his favourite striker. “Messi makes the difference and the big occasions bring out the best in him,” he said. As for Eto’o, the fact that he has had problems scoring recently is no cause for concern according to the midfielder.
Xavi: “We’re coming into the final in great shape”

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No penalty practice
The team didn’t practice penalty kicks before the King’s Cup Final and they haven’t in the build up to the Champions League Final according to Xavi: “It would be a bit daft as you don’t get matchday tension in training”. He also said that he would be looking to take a penalty if a shoot-out does come along: “I like taking on the responsibility at times like that and I’m one of the players who usually takes them”.

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