Barcelona manager Xavi wants to see his team put on a show as with a win over Benfica the football club would advance from Champions League Group E. Xavi has challenged his team to qualify for the Champions League round of 16 with style when Barcelona takes on Benfica on Tuesday.
Benfica will be unable to catch them if Barca wins all three points in their penultimate Group E encounter at Camp Nou. Saturday match recorded Xavi’s debut game as head coach after the club legend took over from Ronald Koeman, and the Blaugrana won a 1-0 derby against Espanyol.
Xavi wants Barcelona to put on a show against a Benfica side who upset them 3-0 in September and might move into second position behind Bayern Munich with a win. Xavi said in a press conference on Monday: “I envision a victory tomorrow. Why should I think otherwise? I prepare for that, so that [the players] are doing well and see that it is an opportunity to get into the second round.”
“I am positive, and it seems an opportunity to me. I envision winning, scoring goals. No one is going to take away that hope. I would like a great team game, of course, but we are not here to give anything away. The most important thing is how. The objective is to win. Winning in any way will be welcome, but it is [about] how things are done, too.”
Xavi has taken on a rebuilding job at the cash-strapped club following Koeman’s departure, but the 41-year-old has high expectations. “I am very happy,” he said: “I feel proud and privileged. I think they are the best in the world, but they must prove it. We have to aim for excellence. Regardless of the system, the approach is the same. I try to give the team a winning mentality, personality.”