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Xavi: Barcelona must keep the ball to beat Bayern

Barcelona midfielder Xavi has insisted that retaining possession will be key to his side beating Bayern Munich.

The sides go head to head at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie.

And the Spaniard believes that preventing the hosts from having the ball is vital for the Catalan outfit.

“I think that having the ball is going to be a key part of the game,” he told reporters.

“That’s the best scenario. The worst scenario is not having the ball. When we don’t have the ball for long periods of time we can get dozy.

“Tomorrow we’ll be having possession of the ball for long periods of ball and imposing our personality. Bayern are a very complete team, but we know how to play against them. We really want to win.”

The 33-year-old went on to acknowledge the strength of Barcelona’s opponents but underlined the need for an away goal.

“I think this tie is at 50/50, but we will try to play our style. We know that it is very important to attack right from the start,” he added.

“It is important to get an away goal, it’s vital. They’ll try and impose their game, which is quite similar to ours, but we’ll see what happens on the pitch.”

Barca could clinch the Liga title next week when they take on Athletic Bilbao but the playmaker says that the Champions League is equally important to his team-mates.

“The league is very important, yes, it’s the title that you play for every week,” Xavi continued.

“We said it’s the most important title for us. But the Champions League is a title that really motivates us. We’re in the semi-finals and we want to show our very best.”

Mon 22 April, 2013
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