Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez emphasized the need for his team to convert good performances into positive results in the Champions League. They are set to kick off their Group H campaign against Royal Antwerp on Tuesday. Despite winning the LaLiga title last season, Barcelona’s recent 5-0 victory over Real Betis showcased their potential with the addition of new signings Joao Cancelo, Joao Felix, and Ilkay Gundogan.
Xavi expressed his desire to finish at the top of the group and secure a favorable seeding in the knockout phase draw. He stressed the importance of actions rather than words, highlighting that although Barcelona played well last season, they fell short in terms of results. This year, they aim to perform well and achieve the desired outcomes.
In addition to Royal Antwerp, Barcelona will also face Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Porto in Group H. The Spanish champions have made a promising start to their domestic title defense, securing four wins and a draw, placing them second in LaLiga, just two points behind Real Madrid.
While Barcelona has a rich history in the Champions League, winning the competition five times, their last triumph was in 2015. They faced disappointment last season when they failed to progress past the group stage and had to settle for the Europa League. Returning to the pinnacle of European football will be a challenging task for Barcelona.
Xavi expressed confidence in his team’s current form and the support of their fans at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, their temporary venue during Camp Nou renovations. However, he confirmed that defender Ronald Araujo and midfielder Pedri will not be rushed back from their injuries to play against Antwerp. Xavi preferred to exercise caution and hoped they would be ready for the upcoming LaLiga match against Celta Vigo.
In conclusion, Barcelona aims to translate their strong performances into positive outcomes in the Champions League. Xavi stressed the importance of achieving results this season, as the team looks to reclaim their status as European champions.
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