Xavi Hernandez (Terrassa, 25th January, 1980) may not play tomorrow against Mallorca (IT'S OFFICIAL. HE WON'T PLAY.) because of an injured Achilles tendon in his left leg that is embittering him since the end of the World Cup that so brilliantly won with the Spanish NT. The midfielder, who doesn't like to miss even a friendly, had no choice but to talk to Pep Guardiola and Vicente del Bosque to report that it was best to stop about 15 days. Force it could mean to have to regret it later.
The golden boy of Terrassa will be honored in his hometown on Wednesday for winning the World Cup last summer.
For you to stop, it has to be pretty bad....
It really hurts. I have problems since the preseason. I am suffering. I'm playing but I don't enjoy it. I talked to Del Bosque and Pep and told them i couldn't go on anymore. On Kazan's match I was about to ask for a sub, but we were losing at half time. Now it was necessary to stop and stay 15 days without matches, because I play one and I feel ill. Playing with pain and suffering does not lead to anything. Also, I saw Mario (Getafe) “break” the Achilles tendon and that makes you think a lot.
This has already been interpreted like you “ruled yourself out” of the NT...
There is always controversy, I can't do anything, even if i've played 98 games as an international. I don't know why this happens, I don't control it, we must ask who says it. I called Del Bosque, told him I couldn't make it and he said no problem. We trust each other. I told him I wouldn't even play on Sunday and he said that he wouldn't put me on the list. And we didn't need to talk for half an hour. He understood it, and that's it.
Without you, Barça has another problem tomorrow, specially because it seems that it's difficult for the team to win at home.
The key is to be ahead on the scoreboard. Last year we did it in many games, so the rival's morale come down a bit and had to move his lines forward. That's when you saw the Barça we all want. This year Rubin, Hercules, Panathinaikos have been ahead on the scoreboard...
Don't you think that the rivals have caught the hang of you?
I insist that it's more and more important to be ahead on the scoreboard, because it makes us confident and they have no choice but to go to tie. Rubin, Hercules... tried to draw and found a goal that they weren't expecting. It's like what happened against Switzerland in the World Cup. They weren't looking for the victory but they found it. We had bad luck in this regard.
Is the level of the team the same?
Yes. The game, the desire, the dynamism ...
Tell us, how do you motivate someone who has won everything?
You get used to winning and you want more. It's not a problem, it's a virtue. When Spain lost the Confederations Cup we were really angry. When you taste the flavor of victory you never get tired of it. Winning is like a drug. I think we're on the right track. I have good feelings. There's a good atmosphere, we can work peacefully... We have everything to revalidate titles.
Any special challenge?
There are many. Overcoming those who have won more ligas, those who have won more trophies in the club, the four ligas won by the Dream Team...
You always say that the goal is to win all the titles at stake. Do you really think you can win all three?
You can not exclude any of them. We're at Barça and, with all caution and humility we have the ambition to win every title that we can. After all, we are the only ones ever to have won all six in the same year. It is difficult, but we'll go for all three.
Inter won't be able to win the six of them...
That should make people realise how difficult it is. It's beatable but not surmountable and it has a special merit.
It also seems difficult to overcome the 99 points from last season's liga.
It will be much more complicated this year.
Will there be more rivals apart from Real Madrid for the liga title?
Atletico are stronger than before, with more confidence because they have won titles recently. They don't have so much pressure, they don't receive that much criticism and the player is more comfortable. Sevilla have been a tad weak at the start, we'll have to wait and see the how they do with the new coach. And Valencia is strong.
Do you see the Madrid worse than last season?
Madrid doesn't seem so good, but the results are the same. They continue to compete. He has six points in Champions League and they are only one behind us in la liga.They might not play football with the same philosophy as us, but they win games and they will be competitive until the end. They are bound to be.
Do you think the absence of two references in the locker room as Guti and Raul is affecting them?
I don't think so. They also have referents like Casillas, Arbeloa or Xabi Alonso... People contrasted. Cristiano, apart from how much is said about him, he's a winner, like Higuain and the new ones will want to prove they are good for Madrid. They also have a coach who is competitive, a winner.
You've coincided with Mourinho, are you surprised to see him so provocative?
This is his character and it has to be accepted. We have to take the good side of it, we have to be motivated with his figure. He feels good with the controversy, he's comfortable. We want to win playing good football and he wants to do it no matter what. To us culés sometimes we need this extra motivation to perform and Mourinho provides it. The fact that they've gone and looked for him, paid a clause, and plus he's someone who had been at the club, knows us all and wants revenge... In that sense, Mourinho plays in our favor.
Is it hard not to fall for it depending on some of the things he says?
No. I know him, I know how he is. We have to pay attention to our own things, think about playing football. I think peopl talk too much about Mourinho, because after all he doesn't play.
But he creates the atmosphere ...
That's good fo you, the media, but we don't really care. We're here to play football and compete.
The fact is that they have brought a coach paying a clause which is usually not paid only to dethrone Barça.
That's why we have to look at the good side of it. They are trying to do everything possible to dethrone us because they've been two years without titles and this matters in Madrid.
Does it hurt that the media pressure is being brutal in Madrid this recent years. How does that affect you?
Is another motivation. Many times people need incentives to grow stronger, that's why I like to play at the rival's home, we are stronger when we have something bigger against us. I know about everything, either I read about it or someone else tells me, you can't live in a bubble. But we must be on the sidelines. Nothing happens and these things give us strength.
Maybe you even hang in the locker room some of the front pages that make you angry ...
(Laughs). No. We hung pictures of magazines when one of us comes out dressed weird, but not newspapers.
Playing the final of the Champions at Wembley, that is a great motivation.
Yes These are the kind of motivations that a culé needs. Last year the final was at the Bernabeu but it couldn't be possible by one goal. This year's at Wembley and we would like to be there.
WAIT!!! BEFORE YOU READ THE INTERVIEW. POLL TIME!!! (DON'T BE A CHEATER)
What kind of stuff do you think they hang in the changing room our barça boys?
Pep's press conference this morning:
·He doesn't think winning at home is more difficult this season.
·He feels the team's playing better this season that the fiirst one.
·Mallorca is a good team. All the games agaisnt them have been even. They play football if you let them.
·To win against Mallorca we have to go out on full force
·Regarding Xavi's injury: "the professionals and the players are investing a lot of time in this injury."
·We have alternatives for Xavi's position. We'll use the qualities of other players.
·Regarding Messi's injury: "his ankle is better evey day. Tomorrow we'll see if he plays the whole match, only a part or none at all."
·The word affordable will never leave my mouth regarding any other team.
No source cos it was on telly and I just wrote it down.
·Adriano and his wife are expecting their second child!!!!! Congrats to them!! :D
·Adriano is also back to regular training this morning after his injury in San Mamés. Rememer, he had a microrupture at the adductor of his right tight.
·Nolito and Thiago from Barça B trained yesterday and today with the first team to join them against Mallorca.
·You can still vote for the Golden Foot. HERE. Puyol is one of the candidates. PLEASE DO.
·FIFPro has started the votes to chose the best players to form a 11 team. Messi started the votes because last year he was voted as the best player in the world. 50.000 professional players can vote, including Busquets and Villa, who have already done it.
·Tomorrow Barça B plays at 17h CET against Cordoba, they are travelling by train today.
·The first team plays at 19h against Mallorca at home.
Source for most of these.