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Xavi talks Pedri, Gavi, Fati, Dembele, Lewandowski and January transfer market

Xavi has praised Gavi and Pedri’s quality by saying that when he and Andres Iniesta were 20, the duo was inferior to the current generation.

Speaking in an interview with BarçaTV+, the Barcelona manager shed light on several aspects, including the aim for the rest of the season, his take on Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele and the elimination from the UEFA Champions League.

When Iniesta and I were 20 years old, we weren’t as good as Pedri and Gavi are now. They are better than us,” said the Barcelona manager.

When asked about his experience of being a Barcelona coach, he added, “Being the Barça coach has been a rollercoaster of emotions. You have to have an emotional balance.

“Whether we win or lose, we have to have the same identity and I think the fans have realised that.”

Speaking in the same lines, he also admitted that while people have said coaching his friends and former teammates like Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets is not good for his career, he is turning it into an advantage.

“Coaching my friends? People say it’s not good, but for me, it’s an advantage. You know them very well. Like Alba, Busquets, Roberto and Ter Stegen… But I’m honest with them, many get angry when they don’t play, it’s normal, but I don’t accept bad attitudes.”

He also admitted that winning La Liga would be a fitting end to the season. “If we win La Liga, it would be a good season for us.”

Barcelona were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League following their 0-3 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. Speaking about his team’s journey in the competition, he said, “In the first game against Bayern Munich in the Champions League we were far superior, but they were more effective.”

I would say that we lacked maturity in the Champions League. We need to be more effective,” he added.

Following this, he was quipped about several first team members such as Ansu Fati, Dembele and Robert Lewandowski. Starting off with the Spaniard, he said, “Ansu Fati feels very good, and that’s why he has gone to the World Cup. I’m very happy for Ansu.”

On Dembele, he added, “Dembele is a differential player. He makes a difference in every game. He is a special player. We have worked a lot with him on his decision-making so that he always makes the right decision. 

I love him a lot and I trust him. He is the best winger in the world.”

When asked about Lewandowski, the manager said, “He is very humble and at the same time a great player. He has a great character, and he always helps his teammates. He is a leader.”

His three-match suspension was unfair. It’s an interpretation of touching a part of your body. The good thing is that we have alternatives like Ferran, Ansu, Raphinha, Ousmane and Memphis.”

Barcelona will resume La Liga action on Saturday, December 31, with a home game against Espanyol. Speaking about the derby, he said, “Before the World Cup, we had injured players like Araujo and Roberto, now on 31 December we will have the whole team available. Everyone is fine, we have six very intense months ahead of us.”

Also, talking about the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he assessed, “I have watched almost all the matches of the World Cup. With teams focused on the result, few teams with an attacking approach. More defensive. With the exception of Spain and Brazil, the rest waited for mistakes.”

Lastly, when asked about Barcelona’s plan with regard to the January transfer window, the manager concluded, “I told [Mateu] Alemany not to do too much, that I’m happy with my family, a very sensational squad. We don’t know if we will be able to bring in new players. I think we can be competitive. If we can’t make signings, I’d be happy.”

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