Xavi talks Dembele, Pedri, Fati, Torres, Araujo, Memphis ahead of Athletic Club vs Barcelona

Barcelona took on Real Madrid last week in the second El Clasico of the season in the Spanish Super Cup. The result was far from ideal, but the performance was definitely convincing.

The next step in this journey for Xavi’s team is to build on that impressive showing, and get the result this time. They will travel to the Basque county in Spain tomorrow to take on Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey Round of 16.

Ahead of the mouth-watering clash, Xavi took part in the scheduled pre-game press conference.

On Athletic Club: “Athletic is going to demand a lot from us, they’re very intense and is led by one of the best coaches in Spain, with one of the best batches of young players. We had no luck with the draw.”

On Ousmane Dembele: “Dembele? We are in a complex and difficult situation. We can’t wait form him. Either he renews or a solution (to sell him) must be found. We will decide tomorrow.”

“I don’t consider sending him to the stands. He says he wants to stay byt then he does not sign the contract.”

“I can’t give Dembele more confidence. He has the upper hand and he has to decide.”

On Busquets facing social media backlash: “Criticism on Busquets? He knows he made a mistake, but he is a spectacular and unquestionable footballer, he is very important for our game, if the team is together, Busquets is one of the best in the world.”

On Dembele’s agent: “Criticism on Busquets? He knows he made a mistake, but he is a spectacular and unquestionable footballer, he is very important for our game, if the team is together, Busquets is one of the best in the world.

On Ansu Fati: “Ansu has played little in the last year and a half and we must dose him… He’s a star, he has a goalscoring sense, he makes a difference and he is a spectacular footballer.”

On Dembele (again): “Dembele tells me that he wants to renew, that he wants to continue… I have been very clear: either he renews or we find a way to sell him in January, in the interest of the club.”

“Dembele hasn’t disappointed me.”

“I think I’ve been clear on Dembélé now. That was the last question about him, right?”

On Ferran Torres: “Ferran Torres has done very well this week. In the Clásico he lacked the rhythm of the competition, but he is fine, recovered 100% and tomorrow he has to be important.”

On Pedri: “Pedri is 100% and he must be important, getting him and Ansu back is essential, they are players for the present and for the future, they are key pieces for the team.”

On Ronald Araujo’s renewal: “Renewing Araújo is a priority. He is an extraordinary defender, it is important to reach an agreement because he is a necessary player for the present and the future.”

On Braithwaite’s return: “Braithwaite is doing very well, tomorrow we’ll see if he can make the list, he has shortened deadlines… he’s a player who can help us, he can have minutes.”

On Dani Alves: “Alves is performing well. He’s important and will continue to be so.”

“It all depends on the performance. I am happy with the way he (Alves) played vs Real Madrid. He’s doing really well, we’ll see what we can do after the end of the season.”

On Memphis Depay: “Memphis has a little discomfort, he has suffered a bit, but it’s nothing serious. Tomorrow we’ll decide.”

On the World Cup: “There is a year left for the World Cup, and I don’t think the players are affected by that. Everyone wants to participate, but there’s a long time for that.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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