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'We are Barcelona!' - Xavi hails Ansu Fati, Jordi Alba as Barcelona book Champions League spot

Xavi has completed a turnaround at Barcelona, taking the Balugrana from 9th in November to 2nd

Xavi praised Ansu Fati and Jordi Alba after both players scored to secure a 2-1 victory over Real Betis and a place in next season's UEFA Champions League

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has stated his contentment after leading the Blaugrana to Champions League qualification for the 2022/23 season.

The Catalan club secured their spot in next season's Europe's elite club competition with a 2-1 victory away at Real Betis courtesy of a last-gasp Jordi Alba goal.

The feat completes a good turnaround for Barcelona who were ninth (9th) on the log when Xavi took over as manager in November 2021.

Speaking at the post-match press conference after the Real Betis match on Saturday night, Xavi stated that qualifying for the UEFA Champions League is the minimum expectation at a club of Barcelona's stature.

The Spanish manager reiterated that the season is not over yet and his Barcelona side will continue to work on improving their shortcomings.

Xavi told newsmen: "Very happy to qualify for the Champions League. It was an important win and we are on the right track.

"We are Barcelona, and being in the Champions League is the minimum requirement, but we were 9th in November. Now, it’s all about getting better to fight for titles next season.

“Barcelona will continue the competitive process. The season is not yet over, but the important thing is to know what our shortcomings are. We know what is happening to us and what we are missing.”

Xavi also commended the players for giving their all and never giving up, especially after Jordi Alba scored in the last minute of added time to give Barcelona the victory on the night.

"We aren’t playing like we used to, we lose a lot of balls and the feeling is negative. However, the positive is that although our performances aren’t consistent, the players do not give up," Xavi said.

“It was a close match. We are not happy with our performance but are happy with the result. It makes me happy when I see these players give their all on the pitch."

The Barcelona legend went on to single out youngster Ansu Fati for praises, hailing the forward's shooting accuracy after he found the back of the net on his return to the squad.

Xavi said: “Ansu Fati? You see he’s a star. Every time he shoots, the ball enters the net. We feel amazing about him being back and I’m very happy for him."

Xavi also heaped praises on the captain team including Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, and Alba for their commitment to helping the team at all times.

“Busi, Alba and Piqué are showing me their commitment every day, it’s great. The captains have been criticised because this is Barcelona but they’ve helped the team and didn’t give up," the Barcelona manager concluded.

Barcelona are now second on the La Liga table with 69 points from 35 matches. The Blaugrana are five points and eight points ahead of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid on the log respectively, having played one match more than both teams.

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