Xavi accepts pressure but amused by reaction to Clasico loss: ‘Like a family member has died’


Barcelona drew with Inter, then lost to Real Madrid, increasing the pressure at Camp Nou but not altering Xavi’s expectations.

Xavi knows he must deliver success at Barcelona to keep his job but insists: “I’m not going to hide.”

The Blaugrana had a miserable week, drawing 3-3 with Inter in the Champions League before losing 3-1 at Real Madrid in the Clasico.

Barca are now relying on favoritism to progress in Europe and be knocked off the top spot in LaLiga.

However, coach Xavi is not changing his outlook and on Wednesday reiterated “the aim is to win titles”.

That’s the expectation at the club and Xavi knows the consequences of failure – although he was amused by the number of messages he received after Sunday’s result.

“I think we have created a team that will win titles,” he said ahead of Thursday’s game against Villarreal.

“I’m excited, people are cheering me on. I’ve got so many messages on my phone it’s like a family member died.

“The transition was in the last half-season. If we don’t succeed, as the president said, there will be consequences, especially for me.

“I’m here to solve problems and if we don’t win, another coach will come in. I’m not going to hide.”

Asked when he could lose his job, Xavi replied: “Anytime, tomorrow. People raise their fists at me on the street. But I’m sure.

“We lost in Madrid and we can be relegated in Europe. I will keep fighting.”

At least there was success on an individual level on Monday, with Gavi winning the Kopa Trophy, Robert Lewandowski the Muller Trophy and Alexia Putellas the Ballon d’Or Feminin.

But Xavi wants to build on those “exciting” triumphs by repeating them as a team.

“For me [Gavi’s] award is more than deserved,” the coach said. “I take this opportunity to congratulate Alexia and Robert Lewandowski.

“These awards mean that Barca is more alive than ever. It’s exciting to see our players win individual awards. Now the collective awards are missing.”

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