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Barcelona Seek Revenge Against Girona After 4-2 Loss – Xavi


Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández is determined to seek redemption for his team when they face Girona this Saturday at Montilivi, with the stakes high for securing second place in LaLiga.

In a previous encounter earlier in the campaign, Girona secured a notable 4-2 victory over Barça at the Olympic Stadium, currently sitting third in the table, trailing their Catalan rivals by just two points with five matches remaining.

The battle for the runner-up position holds significant importance as the team finishing second will join the champions-elect Real Madrid, alongside Copa del Rey finalists Athletic Club and Mallorca, in next season’s Spanish Super Cup, offering not only prestige but also financial benefits.

“We want football revenge after losing the first game against them this season,” Xavi told a news conference on Friday. “But that’s revenge for the team, it’s not personal.

“It’s not a final, but we are approaching it as a vitally important game. It is not definitive [in the battle to finish second], but we want to compete and do well.

“The first game escaped us in December and we need to be more clinical and tweak things in defence. We deserved more when we met at home and Saturday is a chance to show that justice was not done that day and to exact some football revenge.

“Our main aim now is to finish second and qualify for the Super Cup.”

Girona has already achieved a historic milestone by securing European football for the first time in the club’s 94-year history. A triumph over Barcelona would further elevate their remarkable campaign, potentially leading to Champions League qualification.

“It’s the moment to congratulate them because they’re at an extraordinary level, the level of a Champions League team,” Xavi added.

“They have had an exceptional season. It will be a tough game because they are a Champions League-level side; I say that not because of the standings, but what they have demonstrated on the pitch.

“It’s an honour for Catalan football to have Girona in the Champions League as well — and they were in the race to win LaLiga until recently.

“They have had an exceptional season, [coach] Míchel [Sánchez], the players, the sporting department… Their level has been fantastic.”

Notably, Eric García, on loan from Barcelona, has showcased stellar performances for Girona this season, while Oriol Romeu, who moved in the opposite direction last summer, has struggled to secure playing time under Xavi’s management.

Xavi attributed this discrepancy to the differing challenges players face when representing clubs of varying sizes, emphasizing the unique dynamics at play.

“The context completely changes at Barça,” Xavi said. “The pressure is not the same. Players perform at Girona with fewer demands and more calm. It is much easier to play for a team like Girona than Barcelona.

“It’s very difficult [to change that] because how many people cover Barça? A lot of people. And Girona? Far fewer. Therefore, the expectations and demands will always be different.

“The players explain that themselves, not me. When you speak with Eric, you get the feeling that he feels liberated at Girona.”

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