FC Barcelona coach first time since 2021 against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
“We fulfilled our duties, we took nine points out of nine. Qualification is the first objective, tomorrow we have a fantastic opportunity to achieve it and we cannot let it pass,” Xavi said at a press conference on the eve of the match (6:45 p.m. Tuesday). “The second objective is to finish at the top of the group,” he added. Barca are currently three points ahead of second-placed Porto in Group H.
Criticized by the press because his good results are not often accompanied by style at the start of the season, the Catalan technician responded that he wanted to “rediscover excellence” through collective play, but that “it would take time” . “We want to produce great football and win with plenty of goals, it's the perfect film. But that won't happen every game. (...) We must continue to be patient, humble and hardworking,” insisted Xavi.
Returning from injury, French defender Jules Koundé, who preceded his coach in front of the press, also concedes that the Blaugrana “know they have to improve” in the game. “Sometimes we have to be more concentrated. In defense, we are exposing ourselves too much and that is something we are working on. We are a young team with great room for improvement and we must correct these details,” added the former Bordeaux player.
Repositioned in central defense since the arrival of Portuguese full-back Joao Cancelo, the French international says he is “happy to play in his position” where he feels “more comfortable”, but “will never refuse” to play again. right, like in the French team.