Xavi has said that Barcelona’s ‘mentality’ improvements have been the key changes since La Blaugrana faced off against Bayern Munich last season.
FC Hollywood ran out comfortable 3-0 victors home and away in last season’s UEFA Champions League group stages, and thumped Barca 8-2 a few seasons prior to boot.
Since those defeats Barcelona have undergone somewhat of a facelift, signing a number of new players including star striker Robert Lewandowski from Bayern in the summer transfer window. Speaking to the press ahead of the clash between the two European giants, Xavi discussed the changes that have come about at Camp Nou since their last meeting:
“A lot of things but I think the mentality. That day we talked a lot after that game and I said we are Barca and that here we needed to run and show our personality, our character and give it our all out on the pitch. I think the first 20 minutes went well, but yes our mentality has changed.
“You can lose a game, but we want to impose our style of play, because we are Barca. So I think we have changed in our personality and mentality. Of course the transfers have helped, and the wins that give us more confidence, but the mentality of the players has changed a lot.”
Xavi also took the time to discuss Lewandowski’s first game against his former club, insisting that he’ll be ‘motivated’ to make a difference in the game:
“Robert’s great. He’s calm, relaxed, he’s confident. He’s a natural leader for us. It’ll be a special game for him and he’ll be motivated. I rested him the other day so he’s fresh.
“We have Robert with us and he’s very important but we have other players too. Robert also applies the high press well, has a good understanding, his timing and speed gives us a lot, he understands how to find the free man. He understands the game very well. Not just Robert, also our wingers and midfielders. We have a lot of weapons in attack.
“Given our recent results we come here with all the humility in the world but we suffered a lot last season here so tomorrow we want to compete very well. That’s what will leave me happy, if the players show our true potential which is different from the one we had last season, and leave behind the past results. I think we have a possibility to win tomorrow.”