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'I don't know about Real Madrid, but Barca always have to play well' - Xavi aims dig at rivals after Champions League win over Chelsea

5:32 PM GMT+4 13/04/2022
Xavi Hernandez
The coach feels his side have an obligation to win in style, whereas their rivals can scrape through matches

Barcelona coach Xavi says Real Madrid do not have the same pressure to play well in every game that his side have.

Madrid progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League this week despite an unconvincing performance in the second leg of their last-eight clash with Chelsea.

Carlo Ancelotti's team were 3-0 down and set to crash out of the competition before a Rodrygo goal with 10 minutes left on the clock forced the game into extra time, with Karim Benzema netting the decisive goal that secured a 5-4 aggregate win.

What was said?

Xavi says that winning while playing badly is not a luxury his side have, as they adhere to the principles set by legendary former player and coach Johan Cruyff.

"We at Barcelona look at the history of the team. When Cruyff arrived he established certain bases to play well," Xavi said at a press conference.

"Win by playing well. This is how we Catalans are. This is how we live it. 

"I don't know how it is in Madrid. Madrid has a spectacular competitive gene, but Barca is another story."

He added: "This is Barca. We have the obligation to win and play well. It's not worth it for us to win 1-0 and in the 90th minute. We are Barca. 

"It's about being excellent in everything we do. There is no comparison. Barca is the most difficult and demanding club. 

"We have an obligation to win by playing well. This is the difficult thing in football. That is why this is the most difficult club in the world."

Xavi wants a winning mentality at Barcelona

Since Xavi's appointment as coach, the Catalan side have recovered from a disappointing start to the campaign under previous boss Ronald Koeman.

They are now on a 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions and can book a place in the Europa League semi-finals if they beat Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany on Thursday.

The former midfielder has challenged his players to show their winning mentality every day and claim the European trophy this season.

"We have improved things, but nothing has been done yet," he said. 

"It is true that we are in a good dynamic, but we have to improve and compete better. 

"The winning mentality is in footballers. Perhaps it had been a bit asleep, but at Barca you have to show it day by day. Because every game is an exam. 

"We have to get excited and we have to get excited about winning the Europa League, which is the only title the club doesn't have."

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