Fourth classic of the season. Xavi Hernández's sixth as coach of FC Barcelona. And the first he will lead at the Camp Nou since he was hired as coach in November 2021. But above all it is the classic that, in case of victory, can leave his Barcelona with a 12-point advantage over Real Madrid. And nothing, not even the Negreira case, can distract the Barcelona coach from his goal. The one to give "the blow to the League".
"But it's not definitive", immediately clarified the Barça coach, who is not a fan of adjectives such as momentous and their corresponding synonyms, such as key matches, matches that mark seasons or finals, if they are not. He knows and defends by all means that after the classic there will still be 12 games left (36 points) in case of victory. Until the math says otherwise, it's all up for grabs. Everything is possible.
Xavi already knows what it is to win Real Madrid. This season, after the defeat at the Bernabéu in the League (3-1) in October, they have registered two victories. Both have been very different. In the first, his team won the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia by 3-1, dominating and showing their best side. The second was at the Bernabéu for the minimum closed and defending. "What happens with 1-0? Barça won the first European Cup, with Koeman's goal, 1-0 and nothing happened. Given the choice, I prefer 4-0 or 5-4, but it's hard to score goals. Winning 1-0 is a wonder", defended Xavi. But that's not the idea. Xavi wants to dominate. He wants to reign with the ball. He wants goals and, since he can't play, he wants to suffer as little as possible. This time, contrary to what happened in the Cup, the coach has had a week to meticulously prepare all the scenarios. "We envision a match where we will try to have more possession and press well up top," he pointed out.
He will have to do it without Pedri, key to the Blaugrana game and the victories by the minimum. In the nine games that Barça have won with a goal advantage this season, four have been decided by goals from the Canaries. "He suffered in training and you shouldn't risk it. We don't want to lose another two months. Without him and without Dembélé we can also dominate Madrid", he warned.
But it will be the Camp Nou that will decide whether or not there is a League; on the grass, the pressure is left to the whites "because of the classification and because they play here". In the box office and with the Negreira case hovering like a black nebula, the technician looks for Laporta. "Whatever the president says goes to mass. He is the project leader. I focus on football", he pointed out. But no matter how much it weighs on him, until the president gives the relevant explanations, Xavi knows that he has become the spokesperson for the club in everything and for everyone.