Barcelona in the Europa League - it sounded strange at first, when the Catalans moved from the group stage of the Champions League to the second-ranked European competition. But Barcelona needed sobriety and, in a way, the Europa League became an award.
The Catalan club's eyes were opened, many years of bad business and withdrawal of wrong moves came to pay. In the winter, under Xavi's command, Barcelona began the reconstruction. And that is only the first phase, until summer comes.
Until then, they will try to return to the Champions League and use the fact that they play in the Europa League. Maybe Xavi will won the first European trophy.
In the eighth finals of the Europa League, the draw connected Barcelona and Galatasaray.
At the press conference before the first match at Camp Nou - the game will start tomorrow at 9 pm - the young Spanish strategist spoke about the upcoming duel with the Turkish club, but also about the big summer plans. Joan Laporta says that Manchester City is in the pole position for the signing of Erling Haaland, but Barcelona also has its trump cards in that battle.
"It is always a good time to sign for Barcelona. It is the best club in the world. I insist on that. No player since I was the coach here has said "no" to Barcelona." "We insist on a game model that players will enjoy here.
If he touched the ball 20 times in a game in a club, it would be 40 in Barcelona." "We will create more chances than anyone else. That is what we can offer, we are trying to convince the players that this system will suit them ", Xavi answered on the inevitable topic of Erling Haaland.
Barcelona has targeted the Norwegian goal machine, a predator around which the most financially powerful European clubs are fighting, and at the same time it is working on extending contracts with players around whom it plans to build a team in the next decade.
"These are two very important football players for us, they are our present and future. The extension of the contract between Gavi and Araujo is the club's priority. I think it's only a matter of time before that happens.
Barcelona and Europa League
Barcelona is not the main favorite for Xavi to win the Europa League. "I don't see us as one of the favorites, these are the teams that have won this competition in recent years.
Sevilla is a bigger favorite than us, we are just one of the candidates." "We are very excited, although the Europa League is not the Champions League, but it is a European competition. We want to play a great game and we have to go on the attack, and above all to enter the match with great enthusiasm ", said Xavi and commented on tomorrow's game: "Galatasaray is a compact team, they are trying with certain tactical ideas, such as playing with three in the back, or widely placed wingers."
"They will certainly create problems for us. There will be a change in the team tomorrow. Now we have a number of possibilities in the midfield and we have to use that. There are players who really work hard and deserve to play. "