Barcelona boss Xavi hails side despite defeat against Real Madrid

Grant de Smidt
Barcelona manager Xavi, December 2021

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez says his side dominated Los Blancos despite Wednesday’s 3-2 Spanish Super Cup semi-final defeat in Saudi Arabia.

Blaugrana trailed 1-0 and 2-1 in the match but fought back twice through goals by Luuk de Jong and substitute, Ansu Fati. The match saw a debut for new signing from Manchester City, Ferran Torres. The winger was substituted at half-time. Star midfielder Pedri and Fati also returned from a spell on the sidelines.

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Speaking to Marca, Xavi said: “Today I was clear that it was a day of responsibility with the ball. Today is a day to have high spirits although in the end we lost.

“We did 90 full minutes. Madrid’s transactions were our losses. We have been superior to Real Madrid at many times. We cannot have high morale because we have lost. It is a very important turning point.

“We have dominated many phases, we played with some complexes. We leave with pride, but certainly sad for the result.

“A very feeling bad for the defeat, but proud for the game and for dominating the rival. We have been two months, but we are on the right path.”

Pique says Barcelona on right track

Despite a 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid on Thursday in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final, Gerard Pique echoed the comments of his coach, Xavi, about Barcelona’s progress.

Pique told Movistar: “I think we’ve competed very well. We haven’t won and it’s not the result we expected.

“Losing to Madrid hurts but we’re closer to winning. We need to win, we need that definitive step. But we’ve played well and taken risks.

“We went for the game and, while they won, by playing like this we’re going to win.”

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Umtiti wants transfer despite new contract

Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti is demanding a loan move away from the club, according to RMC Sport.

The 28-year-old World Cup winner signed a new four-year contract this week, extending his stay in Catalunya to 2026.

The contract renewal saw the player spread the remaining salary on his previous contract across a longer period, thereby allowing Barcelona to register new signing Ferran Torres by lowering their wage bill.

The Frenchman could now seek a loan move having struggled with knee injuries in recent seasons. Newcastle United are amongst the club’s tipped with a move as they look to move away from the relegation zone in the English Premier League.

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