Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez revealed on Monday that he is enjoying the challenge of facing Benfica in the Champions League, as the team looks to avenge their defeat in Lisbon earlier in the season.
The victory on Tuesday will guarantee Barcelona’s qualification to the round of sixteen of the most prominent club championship in Europe, with one round remaining, despite the difficult start for the Catalan club, with a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich and Benfica.
Xavi, who led Barcelona to a 1-0 win over Espanyol in his first match as coach last Saturday, told reporters: “I see there is an opportunity, there is no pressure.” Football always gives another chance. We are Barcelona and we will play to win. I adore such challenges. Talking is easy, we have to prove our abilities on the field. Against Espanyol we were the best. Barcelona is not in a position to brag but we have reasons to be optimistic. If we win, we will qualify. We have to be brave and try to make it happen.
Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi, who enjoyed a trophy-laden period with the team, praised the crowd after attending in good numbers at the Camp Nou last Saturday and called for similar crowd support against Benfica.
The crowd attendance at the Camp Nou declined due to poor results and a difficult start to the season, which caused the dismissal of Dutch former coach Ronald Koeman before Xavi was appointed this month.
Xavi added: What I saw on Saturday at the Camp Nou I had never seen before in my life. It was amazing. We need our fans again. They are part of us. The atmosphere in Barcelona should terrify people.