Skip menu

Main menu

Content menu

Top of page


Link to related content


13.02.2008 10:46

"Being on the bench wakes you up"

Xavi Rocamora

Xavi Hernández is set to make his 400th appearance for FC Barcelona against Real Zaragoza on Saturday, but before he does he spoke to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat.

Having turned 28 recently, the Catalan playmaker celebrated in style with goals in the team's last two matches against Osasuna and Sevilla and he spoke about scoring the vital efforts and Barça's chances of catching Real Madrid at the top of the table.

The Barcelona supporters are divided into two groups; the ones that think recovery is possible and the others that think it will be very difficult. What would you say to the latter group?

"There is still a long way to go and a lot of games are left. It is well known that strange things can happen in football, like last year. Then we saw the negative side. Why can we not transform it into the positive this season? We have to believe in that we have to recognise that there are a lot of games to go and we depend on ourselves. If we do well and can take advantage of the points that I think Madrid will drop, then we can aim to win the title."

On Saturday, Barça play against Real Zaragoza immediately after Madrid finish their game at Betis. Will that match affect your game in La Romareda?

"Yes, it could have an influence. We are playing just after them and we will find out the result before our game. It would give us a real lift to know if they have lost. But that must not affect our mentality, knowing that we could reduce the gap."

Now we are entering the decisive stage of the season.

xavi_270907.jpgThere are three months left which are full of games and we have to give everything we have during the run-in. We have to think about the team and to believe that we can win trophies as we are going for al three. We know that it is difficult for us in the league. There is a big gap of eight points, but we will not throw in the towel. As for the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, we expect to reach the finals."

The injured players need to come back...

"Yes, that is very important. Throughout the season we have suffered some important injuries and national team call-ups. We have never really been able to be at 100 per cent. To recover all our players is necessary."

I believe that, and I hope I am not mistaken, that the last two goals you have scored, against Osasuna and Sevilla, will be well remembered at the end of the season.

"Let's hope so, on a personal level and a team level. Believing that these goals could break a run and could help us to push on and win the title. That would be fantastic to think that. It would be like the first goal I scored against Valladolid in my first season."

It would almost be possible to say that you specialise in this type of goal.

"I try to help the team. The concept that is instilled in you at Barça is about the team. It is everything to help the team and give everything you can."

"These two goals came after you spent two consecutive games on the bench. How did you feel?

QM3D0213.jpg"At times it is good to realise that you are not playing at your best, at the level required. Being on the bench wakes you up to that. There have been times like that in other seasons. It is not the first time it has happened to me as have been on the bench on other occasions. I felt fine and it did me good. I am the first to demand more from myself and being name on the bench makes you even more competitive.

This season two youth team products in Bojan Krkic and Giovani Dos Santos have followed you into the first team. They appear to have adapted well.

"Yes, both players have a lot of talent. They are also both young and we have to take things slowly, but they do have incredible potential. Therefore, sooner or later they will become vital. They are already on their way, but they are young and we have to be patient."

Do you think that Bojan's rise up the ranks is similar to yours?

xavi1302x13x.jpg"Yes, it is very similar. But inhis case an awful lot is expected of him and that could affect his thinking. Everyone has said that he can make history. We should be very careful and remember that he is still young. He has a lot of talent, but we have to leave him to work calmly and then he will come good."
“Being on the bench wakes you up“

To view this content you need the latest version of the Flash Player

Read the second half on Thursday
The second part of the interview with Xavi Hernández can be read on www.fcbarcelona.cat this Thursday. In the next section, the midfielder reflects on his path to the Barça team, how he came to the club and all the doubts he had about being good enough to play for the team.

Top of page

Back to top

Related content

Football News

Back to top
Top of page