Xavi Hernández lives every game on the FC Barcelona bench as if it were his last. “I have an expiration date,” he assured. In this countdown, his Barça has a great objective: to make it to the quarterfinals of the Champions League. “It has been four years since we have been among the eight best teams in Europe. I see it as an opportunity. We have to be brave, show that we can compete after so many years of not being at the level,” recalled the coach.

The recipe? “We have worked on all the details. I am going to tell the players not to be afraid, that we have to take a step forward,” diagnosed the coach who neither wants to be the center of attention nor think about what consequences it may have for him that Barça will be eliminated tomorrow.

You already know the economic ones. The club loses 15 million euros and would not meet the budget planned for this season either. In lean times, it is an element to take into account. “We have had an uncomfortable situation. The club has made an extraordinary effort. But I think we can compete with anyone. I don’t see better teams in Europe, I see different teams, what changes are our economic circumstances,” he noted.

But green shoots are also observed from the financial crisis. They are young people like Lamine Yamal or Pau Cubarsí who, at 16 and 17 years old respectively, are experiencing a historic moment. “They are being important so let’s enjoy it to be among the 8 best teams in Europe,” said the coach.

Marcos Alonso could receive a medical discharge. He underwent lower back surgery last January and returned to training with the group a week ago. Alonso has not played since last November. On the other hand, Ferran Torres will not be there, who has not recovered from his femoral biceps injury in his right thigh that he suffered against Osasuna on January 31. The Foios striker has been training outside the group and the medical services and coaching staff consider that there is still a risk of relapse. “Ferran’s thing is not a relapse, it is the feelings and I hope he is against Atlético,” said Xavi. Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and the long-term injured Gavi and Balde are still in the infirmary.

“It is true that we have important casualties and that Napoli has improved. The players seem more dynamic and comfortable with Calzona. And they are the current champions of Serie A. I expect a brave Napoli. They are going to put high pressure on us and that “They will try to have the ball just like us. I expect a nice game for the show because they don’t speculate. It’s a big game. We were better there and we have to be better here to win the game,” he warned. Xavi surprised by saying that he has a Neapolitan favorite: “I like Lobotka, he builds and doesn’t lose balls. I would like to see him in a club like Barça,” he highlighted.

The club and Xavi hope that this Tuesday the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, with capacity for 50,000 spectators, will be full. 2,600 tickets have been reserved for Naples fans. “I hope Montjuïc looks like Camp Nou,” said Xavi. In the morning session, vice president Rafa Yuste did approach and greet all the players. On the other hand, President Laporta was not there. “It is true that today Laporta has not gone down but the president is very motivated. He is eager to do things well for tomorrow. He does not change the relationship with the president,” said Xavi.