With sportsmanship and education, Xavi Hernández and Diego Martínez talked in the tunnel to the changing rooms before stepping onto the green of the Camp Nou to take the traditional coaching photo. Barça comes to the event as the leader of the League, a condition that it will maintain until 2023 if it beats the blue and white team in the last game of the year. Espanyol, who always presses in the Barça stronghold, will look for a positive result that will give them a bit of oxygen and self-esteem after a very irregular start that has placed them in sixteenth place in the standings. Both realities are known by Xavi and Diego, two technicians with fixed ideas.
Where were we going Xavi? "We are leaders of the League and we are going to compete until the end," the man from Egar stated forcefully. The Barcelona coach has disconnected little from football during the 53 days in which football life stopped for his club. “In my case it's 24 hours thinking about football. During the break we have gone to Doha for the World Cup for five days, we have analyzed and planned a strategy and we have thought about improvements for the defensive line ”, he confessed in his reunion with the media.
It happens that football is an unpredictable sport. Amongst so much planning, Xavi's Excel faltered yesterday when the club informed him that Lewandowski will be able to play the derby after the Central Contentious Court of Madrid has granted a precautionary measure. “The sanction occurred at the beginning of November, we should already have a final resolution. It is not a good organization, we have prepared the derby without Robert ”, complained Xavi, who will have to reorganize everything and tell a footballer that he will not finally be a starter.
Who does know that today he will start from the bench is Ronald Araújo. The Uruguayan central defender received a medical discharge "but he needs a competitive rhythm", Xavi slipped without ruling out that he could play a few minutes if things go as expected. “Espanyol is always motivated at the Camp Nou. It is a team that works defensively that deserves more points than it has", warned the always prudent Xavi who, although he reserves it for himself, has already thought about how he will reward the players if they manage to take the last three points of 2022.
And as a gift from Kings? It is also clear. “I hope that Busquets renews. For me it is essential ”, she declared.
Diego Martínez's always exciting speech before each game acquired a more emotional tone for the derby against Barça. The Galician coach has been concerned that his players "soak up" what it means for Spanishism to play this match. For him, "a feeling that comes from the bowels of this club." More motivated than ever, he exuded passion and determination in equal measure. “The derby is something special, I feel excited. Competing against the best makes you better. But doing it as Espanyol coach makes it different and unique, ”he described.
Martínez is very clear about the game that his team needs to win where they have not done so for more than a decade. “Courage is associated with a phase of the game. We want a forceful match in the areas. With an opponent who wants possession, when we have the ball we must be vertical. Let them dare, generate damage. be chameleons That is also being brave, ”he claimed.
The coach, who appeared before learning of the decision of the Central Contentious Court of Madrid to grant Robert Lewandowski the precautionary measure, made it clear that “you cannot focus on a single player. This is not only about proper names but about teams, ”he added.
Finally, he asked his players to play the duel “managing emotions, with a lot of head and believing in our weapons. I see the team convinced”. And he remembered Infantil B, who won the Promises League against Barça on Thursday. "It is inspiring. They have shown us a way.”