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Xavi labels Napoli clash ‘most important game’ in Barcelona season

Barcelona manager Xavi says the Champions League clash against Napoli is their most important game of the season.

On Tuesday, Barcelona will play Napoli in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 at Montjuïc stadium. The first leg finished in a 1-1 draw in Italy.

I expect a proud Napoli that build up from the back press high with no speculation. They have high individual quality,” said Xavi.

Napoli’s three attacking players are of high level. It’s a big game against a big club, the defending Italian champions.

There are no favourites, it’s 50-50. The crowd must support us and think the stadium must be like a pressure cooker. We must show our identity and have personality.

“They have improved with a new coach, they are more dynamic. We are dealing with important injuries, but we must compete. We were better than them in Naples and must be better here,” continued the Spanish tactician.”

Xavi also admitted that tomorrow’s game against Serie A defending champions is the most important of the season for his team.

“It is, but we are ready, with confidence. We haven’t played in the quarter-finals for four years. We face a team that is not in the best moment but won the title last season. We need a packed stadium.

We already played good games against big clubs like Real Madrid even if we lost in La Liga, but also Atletico and Napoli. We must perform similarly but be more effective inside the boxes.”

Barcelona legend who won four Champions League titles in his playing career advised his team to control their emotions.

When I say competing it is also the control of emotions, not having expulsions, patience in the game, the small details are key in the Champions League. I am not important tomorrow, I have an expiration date, what is important is the club, I do not prioritize the person, but the club, and we all have to be united,” Xavi said.

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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