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17.09.2009 14:05

“It’s the same story every year”

Roger Bogunyà

Xavi told reporters on Thursday that Barça outplayed Inter in the Giuseppe Meazza: “If we had won 0-1 or 0-2 people would be talking about a great Barça”. He also warned that many games this season would be like the match in Milan.

But it’s a familiar story – the opposing team pulls down the shutters and leaves Barça the possession of the ball. That sometimes leads to goals but not this Wednesday - Mourinho’s defensive strategies and a lack of sharpness in the final yards saw to that.

However, Xavi has a positive take on the match: “It says a lot about Barça that we closed down one of the favourites on their own ground. I think we were superior at every moment”.

Defence and counterattack

PARTIDO_WEB_13.JPGThis defensive attitude on the part of opponents is a common experience for the Barça players: “We’re suffered this before. We suffered it last year. Matches in the Camp Nou are always monotonous and that’s the way they will be. Barça dominates and the opponents, with two lines of four in defence, look for the counterattack, without giving us any space. It’s the same story every year. This season it may be even worse given that Barça has been winning and everyone respects us even more”.

“The result changes everything”

2009-09-17_RUEDA_DE_PRENSA_XAVI_HERNANDEZ_006.JPGHowever, Xavi admits that all styles of play deserve respect though for him there was only one possible winner on Wednesday evening: “We had three or four very clear chances to take the lead and we might have seen a different match then. We gave a good performance throughout the team, great football. It’s not a case of the result above all else but if we had won 0-1 or 0-2 people would be talking about a great Barça. The result changes everything”.

Satisfied with Ibrahimovic

Xavi also spoke about Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “I think he’s OK, he’s performing well. He gives us a lot of options, he combines well and let’s us play the ball in the air. He’s mobile and is a reference point up front because he holds the ball well. He gives a lot of options to the team and so far he’s already scored two goals and he’s adapting really well. We’re satisfied”.

Atlético, a more open match

One of the few teams that seems to go against the trend of defence and counterattack is Atlético Madrid: “Historically, they are always attractive matches with plenty of goals. I imagine it will be a more open match. It’ll be nice”.
“It’s the same story every year”

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“I wish Eto’o all the best”
It was a question that just had to be asked. How did you feel when you saw Eto’o in an Inter shirt? “It was strange to see him in another shirt. But we spoke and he’s happy. Our professional lives go on. He’s a great person. We’re good friend and I wish him all the best”.

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