Xavi: “For me, Imanol is an example of how to do things well” | Sports

Barça will play the Copa del Rey quarterfinals tomorrow Wednesday against Real Sociedad (9:00 p.m., Movistar) at the Camp Nou. The Catalans have not played the Spanish tournament in their stadium since the semifinals against Sevilla in 2021. “It is a key and decisive confrontation, since it is a single game and we are playing at home. We need our fans”, commented Xavi Hernández. “Let’s see if the Camp Nou can be as full as against Getafe. Some 80,000 people cheering us on would not go amiss, ”he added.

Real Sociedad is third in the League and has five consecutive victories. The Catalan coach showed his admiration for Imanol Alguacil, the coach of the Basque team. “Imanol’s proposal is excellent. He is a coach who has made history with Real. For me he is an example of how to do things well. I like it a lot, ”he confessed. Nor did he want to ignore the good game that the txuri urdin and what they will have to do to stop them. “We have to get the ball out of them. They are very comfortable when they have it and it makes them very dominant in the game. We have to be aggressive without the ball and dominate ourselves, if we can’t suffer”, said the man from Terrassa.

In the goal the issue of who will occupy the position between the three sticks returned: if Iñaki Peña, who has been playing the matches that have been played in the Copa del Rey, or Ter Stegen. “Tomorrow we will decide. I have not advanced anything to the players and I do not want to give clues in training. They don’t know until an hour and a half before the game, ”he confessed. He also came out to defend Gavi, a player who is criticized for his aggressiveness on the pitch. “He puts passion and courage into it, he has to be calm,” he commented. And he ironized: “When he goes to the National Team it is wonderful and when he plays for Barça he crosses the line. And if we win, like less. That he does not stop because he has no roof ”.

The match will be refereed by Gil Manzano, the same referee who sent off Lewandowski with a double warning against Osasuna last November and who penalized him for touching his nose. “Are you afraid that tomorrow Gil Manzano will referee you?” they asked him. “I am not worried that it conditions the game. I always tell my players to forget about the referee. We will receive it in the best possible way. I hope it goes unnoticed and that it’s an easy game for him”, replied the coach. “Lewandowski will be watching the game, he is a professional,” he added.

On Sunday, the women’s Barcelona won the Spanish Super Cup and Xavi wanted to send them a congratulatory message: “Jonatan Giráldez and his team are doing an extraordinary job and I congratulate them”, he commented. But she also had words for the MVP of the final: “Aitana made the difference, I admire her a lot.” With the issue that occurred with the medals, the Catalan coach did not want to get wet. “Seeing what happened to me with Dani Alves, if the Spanish Federation says that this was the protocol, I listen to them,” he concluded while laughing.

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook Y Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.