Xavi hits back at media after Barcelona’s UCL win over Napoli

Barcelona have finally done it, as the Catalans reach the quarterfinal stage of the Champions League for the first time in 4 years. Manager Xavi will be particularly pleased, as he has guided the club through a very tough period of time.

The team won 3-1 yesterday against Napoli in the second leg of the Round of 16, defeating the defending Serie A champions 4-2 on aggregate. After the win, the manager was quite happy and even a bit angry towards the media for their criticism of him over the months.

Xavi hits back at media over ‘unfair’ criticism

In the post game press conference, Xavi hit back at the media for what he perceived to be ‘unfair criticism’ from them. At first, he reiterated that he would be leaving in the summer, as announced before, a decision he made due to feeling undervalued.

He then pointed fingers at the media, pointing out that they predicted him to lose ahead of the big game against Napoli. “Before the game you said that against big teams we are not up to it and look at today. If we had lost vs Napoli, you would be writing that I have to leave would be on the street!”

Xavi then said they were very unfair towards their assessment of him, “People didn’t believe me, said that I was going to lose the locker room. We have received a lot of unfair criticism.”

While Xavi is happy to prove his haters wrong, he has not had a good season with Barcelona. After winning the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga last year, he has failed to make an impact in the current season. The Blaugrana were knocked out of the Copa Del Rey and Spanish Super Cup, and are currently 8 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid. Their only hope is to win the Champions League, though they have a lot of key players injured.

Xavi lauds 17-year-old Pau Cubarsi

Barcelona won the game 3-1 while dominating for a large part of the game. While the goal scorers were Fermin Lopez, Joao Cancelo, and Robert Lewandowski, it was actually young defender Pau Cubarsi who really made an impact. The La Masia graduate only made his debut in January this year, and it was his debut in the Champions League yesterday.

Being included in the starting lineup, he showed maturity on the ball, and made important passes and tackles. He won the Man of the Match award as well, being the youngest defender to feature for Barcelona in the competition.

Xavi only had praise for the talented 17 year old teenager, “Cubarsi doesn’t get nervous. That’s in his favor. His delivery of the ball is brutal. He has that calmness and that pause, a lot of links with interiors. It’s a spectacle to see him.”

Barcelona will now focus on their next game in La Liga against Atletico Madrid on Monday, and Xavi will hope for another win.

Fazal Al Bashar

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Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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