Monday, February 6, 2023

Xavi tells Barca latest Madrid showdown is ´golden opportunity´ to end trophy drought

SoccerNews in La Liga 14 Jan 2023

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Xavi insists Barcelona must prove their trophy “hunger” ahead of the Supercopa de Espana final showdown with Real Madrid.

The Blaugrana are aiming to end a 21-month wait for silverware, having lacked such success since their Copa del Rey victory over Athletic Bilbao under Ronald Koeman in April 2021.

Barca required a penalty shoot-out to defeat Real Betis in the Supercopa semi-finals on Thursday, but they are now on the brink of lifting a first trophy under Xavi.

All the same, head coach Xavi believes his side enter the latest Clasico as underdogs, with Madrid having won four trophies in 2022, including the Champions League and LaLiga.

“Madrid are very strong and, psychologically, they have a slight advantage because they have played more finals in recent years, and they have more experience,” Xavi said, ahead of the game in Riyadh.

“We have a lot of young players that have not won trophies with Barca. When you start playing football as a child, this is what it’s for: to play finals against Madrid.

“We are not afraid, we are not anxious. We are facing a golden opportunity to win a title that would mean a lot in the middle of the season.

“It’s been a long time since we won a title, and we have to be hungry, as I told the players against Betis. I see it as an advantage to show this hunger to win trophies.

“In Barca, it is non-negotiable to win, and the objective is trophies. It would be the same if it was another rival. We will go after them with enthusiasm and motivation.

“We are 90 or 120 minutes from winning a title, and we’re going to give our all to do that.

“The first objective was to reach the final, and it was not easy. Now, the objective is to take the trophy back to Barcelona. It’s the pressure that comes with being at a big club, but the pressure is welcome.”

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