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10.12.2008 14:11

Xavi relishing el Clásico contest

Anna Segura

Xavi Hernández stated that “we have a strong desire to play the game now and we are confident that we can win” as he looked ahead to the visit of Real Madrid at the weekend.

With the Champions League group stage completed in midweek, all the focus turns to el Clásico on Saturday and Xavi is looking forward to the game against Madrid side that have changed their coach in the build-up after Bernd Schuster left.

Strong favourites

QM3D9761.jpgAhead of the game, Barça have been made clear favourites to win and Xavi recognised that. “We are playing at home and we have a nine-point advantage over them and maybe we are playing better football. There have been a lot of surprise results though in these games and anything can happen on the pitch.”

A 12-point advantage

Many Barça fans are waiting for a comfortable win against Madrid, but Xavi believes that the team must be careful and explained that winning the three points was the most important thing to move 12 points above them. “We have to take advantage of the chance to move further clear,” he said. Despite that, Xavi claimed that even if that happened then Madrid were still capable of making those 12 points back up given the amount of games left to play, before adding that “if we do win then it would effect Madrid and would be a big lead to have as it would allow us to drop points once or twice.”

Schuster and Ramos

QM3D9590.jpgXavi then spoke about the current situation at Madrid and analysed the decision to appoint Juande Ramos in place of Bernd Schuster. “It is clear that Barça and Madrid are like a pair of scales,” he explained. “When one is doing well the other may not be and comparisons are always made. But I do not believe that there is a crisis at Madrid because have come back before like this and we have that experience. Two years ago we were in a similar situation and then they came back and ended up winning the title.”

A good feeling

The Blaugrana playmaker does not exactly what effect the change of coach at Madrid would have, but said that the Barça team were “calm because we have a winning dynamic and feel very good and I think that will effect them more.”
Xavi relishing el Clásico contest

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Champions League opposition
Looking ahead to the draw for the Champions League, Barça know that they could face Chelsea or Inter in the next round and Xavi believes that every opponent will be tough. “If we want to win this trophy then we have to be ready to play whoever we draw and we are capable of beating anyone,” he said. We have to play the best and try and progress.”

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