The Barça midfielder said that the team are "angry and exasperated" at the 2-2 draw against Milan. At the same time, he stressed: "We have total belief in the team, we know we have a great squad, and there is a good atmosphere in the dressing room.
Xavi Hernandez was the guest, this Tuesday, on the Barça TV program “El Marcador”, where he analysed FC Barcelona’s debut in this season’s Champions League, which ended in a bittersweet 2-2 draw. In this sense, Xavi said the players feel "exasperated" over what happened on the pitch, to a Barça team that, in his opinion, played "at ease, like we usually do, controlling midfield, and having most of the ball possession….it’s pretty clear that we could have done without the first and last thirty seconds of the game, but sometimes football is unjust like that, and this time we were on the receiving end" he added.
"We have to win, now"
With this situation in mind, Xavi said that "we have to carry on, because this has just begun", and he encouraged his teammates to "win now, starting with next Saturday's game against Osasuna". In the same vein, Xavi explained that "the team is a bit down, we can’t explain it…..but we have to carry on, and think that the Group Stage is pretty long. We’re playing good football, but we have to play with more intensity at certain times”, adding that: “We tried everything, but it was tough to get past them, because they were very tight in defence".
When asked if the draw on Tuesday against Milan is comparable to last Saturday’s match at Real Sociedad, Xavi answered emphatically: "What happened on Tuesday is pure bad luck, totally unfair. The other day we dropped our intensity in the second half of the game, but this time the team played well, we pressurized them until the 90th minute, and we had possession of the ball". At the same time, he showed his ambition, and he’s already thinking about the next game: "We have to win, now, this Saturday". He added: "We’ll battle on. We know we have a great team to carry on winning things, and we're competitive. It makes us very excited, and every year we start from scratch, without looking back".
Without a doubt, the worst news of the night was the injury to Iniesta, who’ll be out for four weeks due to a hamstring tear in his left leg. In this sense, Xavier pointed out that Iniesta’s injury "is a shame because he was playing really well…..he felt good physically, and comfortable on the pitch, and then…" he added. Considering Iniesta’s injury, together with the absence of Alexis, Xavi commented that "they’re two players we’ll really miss, because they take on defenders, which is so important in the game today. Alexis gives does this on the wing, and Andres in the middle".
Quality in midfield
On the other hand, Xavi commented on the contributions of Thiago and Cesc Fabregas in midfield: "There’s real quality in midfield. Every year there’s more competition for places, and those of us who have been here longer are there to help. Thiago is brutal, and he makes a difference. As for Cesc, we all know what he can do. He was brought up here, and knows how Barça play. The most important is that players understand our game, and Cesc does that. He came already brought up on it".