22 August 2014 16:03
Barcelona captain Xavi insists that he can play a prominent role during Luis Enrique’s first season in charge at Camp Nou.
The experienced midfielder, used sparingly by Luis Enrique’s predecessor Gerardo Martino last term, made a U-turn on his Barca future earlier this month and decided to see out the remaining two years of his contract at the club.
Xavi, who has retired from Spain duty, is set to embark on his 17th season at the club where he has won seven Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League crowns.
And he is determined to prove that, at the age of 34, he still has what it takes to play at the highest level, with his former team-mate now at the helm.
“My time with the national team has ended and now I’m concentrating on my only objective, which is Barca,” Xavi said.
“I am ferociously competitive. I’ll work hard to be useful.
“I’m more motivated than on my first day because I like what I’m seeing.
“I’m working hard to carry on being important. The coach makes the decisions but I’m ready for anything and will accept any situation.”
Ivan Rakitic’s arrival adds further quality to a strong midfield at Luis Enrique’s disposal, with the former Barca great also signing the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Jeremy Mathieu, Luis Suarez and Oscar Bravo in recent months.
Xavi maintains that the level of competition will prove a positive for the club, having only won the Supercopa de Espana last term.
“It’s good for the team, we all have to be ready because it’s a long season,” he added.
“Everyone here has extraordinary quality. We’ve signed very good players both at a football and personal level. The human level is the most outstanding in recent years.
“Co-existence and harmony are fantastic. Results will tell the story but we’re starting from the basis that this is a fantastic group.”