3 August 2014 03:24
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique hailed experienced midfielder Xavi, after the Spaniard scored in their 1-1 friendly draw to Nice.
Signings Jeremy Mathieu, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ivan Rakitic earned starts for Luis Enrique’s men, however it was the veteran Barca midfielder Xavi who came on in the second half to save the day.
Xavi converted a penalty to help Barca avoid defeat in France, and Luis Enrique hailed the 133-time Spain international – who has been linked with a move away from the club he has spent his entire career at.
“Right now he’s back to his best both in terms of fitness and motivation … I hope that all the players with me now are still here at the end of the season,” the coach said.
Luis Enrique was unflustered by the result, which saw Barca fight back from conceding a first-half penalty, claiming they improved vastly in the second 45 minutes.
“The result is what matters least. These games are for seeing where each player is and telling each of them what things they’ll need to improve,” he said.
“We were wrong. In the first half, we failed to create space … in the second half we created more chances by playing well.”
Luis Enrique hinted Barca’s movement on the transfer scene could be complete, despite La Liga not kicking off for another three weeks.
“We’re going the logical, and correct, way about things. We can’t expect too much before the season has even started,” he said.