‘El Clasico’ against Real is a chance for Barca to recover, says Xavi

Sunday’s ‘El Clasico’ draw at Real Madrid is an opportunity for Barcelona to regain some confidence, coach Xavi Hernandez said on Saturday after his side’s terrible Champions League results.

Barca have won seven consecutive LaLiga games and sit top of the table with 22 points, ahead of national and European champions Real on goal difference.

In the Champions League, however, they have won just one of their four games and are eliminated from elite European competition for the second year in a row in the group stage.

“I’m always an optimist and see this game as a great opportunity for us. We are the (LaLiga) leaders and want to stay that way from Sunday,” said Xavi at a press conference.

“We want to put the past behind us. If we are positive everything will be fine.

Barca salvaged a late 3-3 draw with Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday but are three points below them and eight behind Bayern Munich.

β€œI tried to get the players emotional to recover. It’s time to insist on our ideals and stay the course,” said Xavi.

Barca, who have been struggling with multiple injuries lately, will still enlist the services of defender Jules Kounde, Xavi said, as the player recovered from a hamstring injury.

β€œHe is very good, 100% and happy. His feelings are very good. He has trained very hard and is available on Sunday,” said Xavi.

Xavi, a former Barca midfield powerhouse, was brought in by the club’s new board last season to help them rebuild after failing to re-sign Lionel Messi.

However, there has been speculation about his future as Barca move closer to elimination from the Champions League and second year in Europe’s second-tier Europa League competition.

β€œThe President has placed his full trust in me. The day I don’t see that clearly, I go home… The day I think I’m not part of the solution, I go home,” Xavi said.

β€œSunday’s game is three points, but it also reinforces the morale boost of leaving the game. It’s an important game for us and for Real Madrid.

“Let’s see who comes out on top. Our project has just started, we can’t destroy everything now. We must calm down, have patience. We are still under construction. The fall in the Champions League is sad, but that goes on. I think we’re on the right track.”



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