Barcelona Coach Xavi Talk About Fermin Lopez, Dembele Future And El Clasico After Trashed Real Madrid 3-0
FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez spoke on Ousmane Dembele’s future, a delightful cameo from Fermin Lopez, and how his team performed in an impressive 3-0 win over Real Madrid in El Clasico on Saturday.
After the Catalans lost 5-3 to Arsenal on Wednesday, they continued their preseason tour of the US in Arlington, Texas to meet eternal rivals Madrid before a record attendance of 82,026 fans.
The biggest crowd for a Stateside installment of El Clasico and club soccer match in Cowboys Stadium had to wait just 15 minutes until they saw a goal.
On the quarter of an hour mark, Barca midfielder Pedri used great judgement when not going for broke with the ball on the edge of the box and instead laying off a delightful pass to Dembele.
The Frenchman then drilled the ball past Thibaut Courtois into the bottom corner, and when asked about his winger’s future at a time when he has been linked to PSG by RMC Sport in his homeland, Xavi said that he saw Dembele as “happy” in Blaugrana.
We do not know what will happen with the [transfer] market. I see him happy at Barca, but in the end the decision is the player’s. If there is anything [happening], he will let us know,” Xavi stated, amid reports that the Qatari-backed giants will trigger Dembele’s €50 million ($55.2 million) release clause.
While Dembele’s fellow €105 million ($116 million) signing in Jude Bellingham struggled on the other side of the ball, the night belonged to Fermin Lopez.
In a blistering 24-minute cameo, the 20-year-old La Masia graduate who hasn’t cost Barca a penny in transfer fees scored a screamer that doubled his team’s lead and then set up Ferran Torres to make it three.
“I have always said that the coaching staff do not have complexes with young people when they earn it in training,” Xavi said, in a dig at those who have suggested he and his team don’t trust youth players.
We have seen Fermin very easygoing in this preseason and we believe he can help us throughout the season,” the manager added.
Xavi was also impressed by new recruit Oriol Romeu who started in defensive midfield, and quipped that the press covering his side and the fans will be much more pleased with his men than they were after the defeat to the Gunners midweek.
Now we will be the best and the other day we were a disaster. This is how we are, the Cules and the environment [that engulfs the club],” Xavi noted.
“We did many things well, but we also made many mistakes that we have to correct. Obviously the result is spectacular, but at this stage of the season it is secondary.
The important thing now is to improve,” he concluded, with AC Milan waiting in Las Vegas before Barca head back to Catalonia to play the Joan Gamper Trophy and get their La Liga title defense underway at Getafe on August 13.