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12.03.2009 14:36

Xavi: “Now it’s the moment of truth”

Anna Segura

The Barça midfielder doesn’t deny that the team is in an “unsurpassable situation” but remains cautious – “we haven’t done anything yet”. Xavi is well aware that the two months ahead will be really tough.

With a place in the CL quarterfinals in the bag, Barça has made an important step forward in their bid to win all three competitions. In the space of just one week, Barça has reached the Spanish Cup final, increased the lead over Real Madrid in the league and qualified for the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

However, speaking at Thursday’s press conference, Xavi Hernandez called for everyone to keep their feet on the ground with some difficult matches coming up – “the moment of truth”.

The first half

QM3D2293.jpgXavi believes that the first half of the match against Lyon showcased the best of the current Barça team: “The first half is the example we have to follow. That’s the way we have to play, how we have to press, the rhythm we have to impose, the sharpness in front of goal. If it’s not perfect it’s pretty close”.

Attacking football

The performance seen on Wednesday evening is the fruit of the philosophy drilled into the team by Josep Guardiola. According to Xavi, “We work a lot on positional play, triangulations, we open up the pitch well and that makes us play well”. He also confirmed that there had been no desire to sit back and rely on the 1-1 draw achieved in the first leg: “Barça only knows how to go out and win the game”.

No preferences

Xavi has no preferences as to the rival in the next round of the CL though he prefers the second leg in the Camp Nou.

QM3D2392.jpgAsked about the success of the four representatives from the Premier League, Xavi denied that it meant that English football is superior given that Arsenal qualified in a penalty shootout while Inter Milan had the better of the goal scoring opportunities against Manchester United.

The Spanish league

Xavi Hernandez declined to comment on how the elimination of Real Madrid from the CL might affect the race for the Spanish league title: “They’ll have one game a week now and will be able to rest. You never know what’s better. But we’re happy to have got through to the quarterfinals”.
Xavi: “Now it’s the moment of truth”

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Throughout most of the pre-match warm-up and at halftime, music was played over the stadium loudspeaker system. One of the songs heard more than once was Coldplay’s ‘Viva la vida'. According to Xavi, this song brings him luck.

Coldplay - Viva la vida

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