Busy period approaching, Xavi’s focus shifts away from new Barcelona contract

    Barcelona head coach Xavi remains calm about his contract extension, which is expected to be officially announced soon, as he remains focused on getting the team the results they need.

    Xavi is confident that extending his contract until 2025 will not distract from the key series of games that begin at home to Real Betis on Saturday and also mark the start of the Champions League campaign against Antwerp.

    “I talked about this with Deku, with the president. It’s about achieving success, titles, not long contracts,” Xavi said at a press conference.

    “I will never be a problem for the club. When we see that my succession is not the right decision, I will step aside.

    “I’m very excited and the project remains very relevant. No doubt my contract extension will be announced in a few days.

    “Performance is important to me. If there are no clear goals for the end of the season, there is no point in signing a long-term contract.”

    Barcelona will test midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who suffered a back bruise during Germany’s game against France but was able to train with his club.

    Xavi expects a tough test from Betis, who won two of their first four La Liga games before the international break and are just three points behind Barca in the table.

    “We have a difficult opponent, a great team, technically one of the best with Isco, Ayoze (Perez), Borja Iglesias,” Xavi said.

    “Possession of the ball will be key, long possession of the ball. We need to win these three games at home and we need the fans.”

    Xavi also expects to make the most of his opportunities given the upcoming schedule.

    “We think everything is fine with the team. The numbers are limited, but we believe in the young talent we have here,” he added.

    “Lamine (Yamal), Unai (Hernandez), (Pau) Kubarshi – there are good young players and we will use them. Rotations will be as needed. We have seven games in 20 days.

    “We have a team that can handle it, but there are players who have played for the national team and some of them will be rested.”

    Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini knows the challenge awaiting his side when they face a “full squad” on Saturday evening.

    Barcelona are having a great season in terms of results and are a very successful team that won La Liga by such a points difference. Now they are also unbeaten in this first stretch of La Liga,” Pellegrini said.

    “They have very dynamic players with proven experience and young players like Pedri, Gavi and now Lamine.

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