'Moment of truth' for Barca: Xavi

AFP , Saturday 2 Mar 2024

Barcelona coach Xavi said Saturday it was now the 'moment of truth' for his side who are on a roll of six wins in all competitions with an away match at Athletic Bilbao in La Liga and a Champions League return game at home to Napoli.

Barcelona s head coach Xavi Hernandez watches his team during the Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between SSC Napoli and FC Barcelona at the Diego Maradona stadium in Naples, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. AP


Many had written off Barca's hopes of retaining their Liga title with Xavi announcing he would leave his post at the end of the season after a run of bad results in January.

But even a week is a long time in football.

"We are much better than a few matches ago, we have good feelings and this is the moment of truth," said the 44-year-old former Barca midfielder.

"To measure ourselves against direct rivals as the Champions League approaches, this is the decisive moment," he told a press conference.

Barcelona are eight points behind leaders Real Madrid after Real drew two games and Girona lost two, with 12 games yet to play in La Liga.

"If we win, it'll be a big step forward," Xavi said, while fifth-place Athletic Bilbao are undefeated at home since the first day of La Liga against Real Madrid.

Sunday will be "a day to find the continuity in our game which we are lacking," added Xavi, brushing aside questions about his future with "today nothing has changed, it's not an issue".

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