Streaming, TV

Next two matches to define Barcelona’s season – embattled Xavi

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has said he believes his team’s next two games will define their season.

Barça, who are eight points behind league leaders Girona and seven points adrift of second-place Real Madrid, play at Real Betis on Sunday in LaLiga before travelling to Bilbao for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Athletic Club.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

“These next games will mark the season, but also if we have good results with Betis [in LaLiga] or Athletic [in the Copa],” Xavi said.

“They are a rival that we did not want in the Cup, but we will compete.

“But first, Betis. Everything at Barça is determined by the next few days. It’s always the same.”

Xavi is confident despite being under pressure following Barça’s humbling 4-1 defeat against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday and their unconvincing 3-1 triumph at third-tier side Unionistas de Salamanca on Thursday.

“We are optimistic,” he said. “There is still half of the season left. We won two titles last season with this team.

“We have to go for all the titles we have left. We have to improve and win games convincingly. There are three very important titles and we want to fight until the end.

“We have a significant points difference with Girona and Real Madrid, but we think that it can be overcome that and that depends on us.

“I always think positively and that we can still win the league.”

Xavi said his message to his players has remained the same since he took over.

“It hasn’t change from the first day,” he said. “I tell the to try, to play football well. We want to win and convince and many times it is costing us. The message is to be calm and compete.”

Barça have progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League and will take on Napoli in the round of 16 on Feb. 21.

Related Posts