Xavi on Barça fighting for everything, World Cup and Lionel Messi

Xavi on Barça fighting for everything, World Cup and Lionel Messi

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The Barcelona coach spoke at an event in the Catalan city on Monday

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández spoke at an event at the Santander Work Café on Passeig de Gràcia on Monday to present what will be the 25th edition of his football school.

Xavi has spoken about the current situation at Barça and the World Cup, explaining that he needed this break.

"I have disconnected, I needed it," he said. "I've been here for a year and it's like it's been many more. There's a lot of stress. We're good in the league, we haven't made the grade in the Champions League. We're fine, we're in the process of improving and we need time.

"Barça is a rollercoaster of emotions and even more so being at [my home club]. It's your home and you have criticism and it's difficult to handle, but I try to be strong and I'm sure we're going to turn around the situation the club was in when we arrived."

Xavi is sure that Barça will compete for everything: "Very high expectations have been generated and everything will depend on the results. We are leaders in LaLiga and we are going to compete for everything. Things have been done well and I am positive. We are going to fight for the Europa League and also the domestic competitions".

The Barça coach believes that "it has been very important to lead the league at the break to calm things. We are going to watch the World Cup, see how the Barça players are. We'll give them a week or ten days to switch off after and come back with charged batteries."

Barça will return to competition with the derby against Espanyol on Dec. 31.

Xavi said: "We will prepare for it in the best possible way to continue being leaders."

Xavi will not be able to count on Robert Lewandowski for the match, although he hopes the suspension will be reduced from three games.

"We are going to appeal," he confirmed. "We believe it is an excessive sanction. It was an impulsive gesture that he has already explained. The sanction is excessive and we are going to appeal to reduce it. He has been an example of conduct wherever he has played."

World Cup

On the World Cup, Xavi believes the tournament will be very open, although with Brazil and Argentina a little ahead of the other nations.

"It's even, but perhaps I see Brazil and Argentina a step ahead of the Europeans," he said. "Neymar and Messi look very good. France, Spain, Portugal, England, Germany, Belgium and Croatia may also have options."

Xavi will be in Qatar between November 25 and 30 and he believes in Spain and Luis Enrique.

"I have hope," he added. "Luis Enrique has built a good group and is a great coach. He is the ideal coach because of his personality, you have to believe in the team. I am very optimistic about Spain. They will play with personality, pressing high, having possession, with verticality. They have a perfect mix of youngsters and veterans like Busquets, Alba and Koke. It's not an easy group and the first game will be important for the future of the competition. Winning it well will mean a lot."

Xavi also spoke about Messi, the best ever for him: "Messi looks very strong. We are seeing the best Messi again and he is going to make a difference. [Argentina coach] Scaloni has done very well. I see them in the semis or in the final and also Brazil. For me, Leo is the best in history, comparable to Maradona, Cruyff, Pelé, Di Stéfano, the best in each era. For me, he is the best, regardless of whether he wins the World Cup or not."

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