Xavi Hernández: “Eintracht is a bit unknown in Spain, but it is a great team”

The coach of FC Barcelona, ​​Xavi Hernández, pointed out that Eintracht Frankfurt, his rival this Thursday (9:00 p.m.) in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals, is “a little unknown in Spain, but a great team”, in addition to show his satisfaction for the more than probable renewal of Ronald Araújo, which is very close to taking place.

“For us it’s a new stadium, a new city, we’ve never been here before and it’s a great game. There will be a great atmosphere and it’s a luxury, a pleasure to be here in Germany. We live a lot of football and our approach doesn’t change. We want to dominate the game through the ball, which we have been showing in the last two and a half months,” he said.

“Eintracht is a bit unknown in Spain, but it is a great team. Both in defense and attack and they have a great coach who has them very well organized. Here I would highlight the transition in defense because they come out like bullets. They create chances in three or four seconds. Seeing the draw it is very clear that we were not lucky: German rival, strong and unknown”, he commented.

“It will be a tough and complicated tie. They are a very good team, they put Betis in difficulties, who eliminated them in the previous round, being better in many phases of the game. It has been very difficult for Bayern and Dortmund, they have a system difficult to counteract. We’re not used to playing against this type of team. Perhaps our own environment has underestimated it, but it won’t be easy at all. For them it’s a historic game and we have to match that rival’s extra motivation”, warned the Blaugrana coach.

“Nowadays in football there can be no relaxation because everyone works, studies and everyone prepares many things and these values ​​​​of hunger to win can never be lacking. If they are missing they pass you over because the level is very even There will be no relaxation, in any case if the rival is better we will congratulate him, but there will be no relaxation on our part,” he added emphatically.

Regarding the possibilities for the right back with Dest injured, and Dani Alves not registered, Xavi assured that it is “a pity”. “I was unfair to him, but we have several options. Eric often understands the ball out better than other players and Araújo is at a great level without the ball and corrects many things in defense due to his height and speed. Decision-making is every better time. And Araújo also played left back in Mallorca and Óscar Mingueza. We will play with what we think are better”.

In relation to the renewal of Araújo, the technician was clear about it. “For the staff and for me as a coach, he is a guarantee. Barça has a central defender for ten years or more, there are few central defenders in the world with his level of play and he is improving a lot with the ball. And the key is that he is happy in Barcelona with his family, he is very direct and very clear with his message. He is an example. Barcelona can be proud because he has decided to stay at Barça and we will see if it happens soon,” he revealed.


In addition, Xavi was also asked about the renewals of other players such as Ousmane Dembélé. “I have already said many times that the club is working for the present and for the future, for me Ousmane is very important in my game gear. And if we can have them next year we will be a better team without any doubt,” he said.

“Since November that I’ve been here I’ve said it many times, Dembélé is being exemplary, professional and has a very winning character. He’s happy and at ease, for me it’s not a surprise that he comes to treat himself on the day off. I said it also when he was not playing”, remembered the one from Terrasa.

In other questions, the head of the culé bench said that he is “enchanting with the group” that he has under his command. “It’s magnificent, although that doesn’t mean winning things. I’m delighted, I have my leadership but they also have theirs. We are a family and we are united whether we win or lose. We want people to feel proud, I am here to help the footballer and not for personal glory.”

“Barça is a roller coaster, there are moments of maximum joy and maximum sorrow. It is Barça, you have to be a very balanced person mentally, it is difficult to manage the result because that makes us very good or very bad”, he added before be asked if he considers his team a candidate for the title in the Europa League.

“There are teams that are different from us like Leipzig, Lyon, West Ham… but we can’t think beyond our rival. We only think about them to be able to reach the semi-finals, it’s our reality, we’re dealing with the present and we have to win here although they are going to make things very difficult for us,” he concluded.

By Editor

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