SPANISH SUPER CUP
Xavi: "Tonight, Barça showed we can compete with any team"
Barcelona coach Xavi said he was proud of the way his team "dominated and were superior to Madrid" during much of Wednesday's Super Cup defeat.
Xavi Hernández said that while he was disappointed that his team were beaten in extra-time of Wednesday's Spanish Super Cup semi-final, he was proud of how his players stood up to Real Madrid in Riyadh.
What are your general thoughts on the game?
It was in our hands. We were a little anxious for 20 or 25 minutes, but we managed to get over that. It was a night to be brave and forget about nerves. Today's not the day to brag about anything but this Barça showed it can compete with any team. The result is what it is, but the general feeling is that the team is on the up.
Are you disappointed with the result?
I have mixed feelings because we had victory within our grasp. We dominated Madrid for long periods of the game but we lack experience, patience, responsibility. We are close though. We lacked that extra edge. We were close to making it 3-2. We dominated Madrid and had them pegged back. It's a shame. We're a bit sad, a bit angry. But we are on the right path. We could have won, we took risks but they made us pay for our mistakes.
Do you feel optimistic?
I have no complaints about any of my players because all of them showed commitment. They are young and sometimes you need to slow them down a bit. We are getting players back from injury and that is a boost for the team.
Is Barça back at the same level as Madrid?
Today we were. But not in LaLiga. We are 17 points behind but Madrid is lethal on the break - they are in good form but we are on our way back. Either team could have won tonight. We are going away proud of how we played, it is a turning point in terms of morale but at the same time, we sad about the result.