Saturday. 26.11.2022
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Xavi focusing on Champions League qualification goal in Europa League

Barca face a decisive week, with the trip to Galatasaray preceding El Clasico as they battle Real Madrid in La Liga
13 March 2022, Spain, Barcelona: Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez stands on the touchline during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and CA Osasuna at Camp Nou. Photo: Gerard Franco/DAX via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez stands on the touchline at Camp Nou stadium. Photo: Gerard Franco/dpa.

Xavi insisted Barcelona will focus on winning the Europa League as a means to qualify the Champions League, while declaring the clash with Galatasaray on Thursday as a "final."

Barca were held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash with Galatasaray, setting up a winner-takes-all decider in Istanbul.

Barca head coach Xavi sees the competition as a perfect chance to qualify for the Champions League, despite his side being likely to qualify via finishing in Spain's top four - currently sitting third in the league.

"For us the main objective is to be in the Champions League," he told reporters at Wednesday's pre-match news conference. 

"Now we are in the Europa League, which if we win it would give us access to the Champions League. We are very excited, even if it is the Europa League, we are really looking forward to it.

"For us it's a final [against Galatasaray], it's heads or tails. The first part of the first leg was not good, we didn't come out with intensity.

The example of the 4-0 win

"The example should be the [4-0 win] over Osasuna, where we were intense and we soon managed to get ahead.

"This is a final, in a stadium where they cheer and shout more. We have to try to do what we already did [at Napoli]."

Barca face a decisive week, with the trip to Galatasaray preceding El Clasico in La Liga as they battle Real Madrid on Sunday, but Xavi feels he is capable of handling the pressure.

"I take the pressure naturally, I like it. I'm very competitive, I'm a winner and we like to experience these situations," he added.

Xavi focusing on Champions League qualification goal in Europa League
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