Xavi reveals which Napoli player he’d like to see at Barcelona

 
Stanislav Lobotka of SSC Napoli during the serie A TIM match between SSC Napoli and Juventus FC at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on March 03, 2024 in Naples, Italy.

Barcelona coach Xavi admits Napoli have ‘improved’ under Francesco Calzona and would like to see Stanislav Lobotka play for the Catalans.

Napoli and Barcelona meet in Spain tomorrow in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16. Xavi addressed the media at a pre-match press conference on Monday, revealing what he expects from his side and from the Partenopei.

“I expect a proud Napoli that build up from the back press high with no speculation. They have high individual quality,” said the ex-Spain star as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

“Napoli’s three attacking players are of high level. It’s a big game against a big club, the defending Italian champions.

“There are no favourites, it’s 50-50. The crowd must support us and think the stadium must be like a pressure cooker. We must show our identity and have personality.

“They have improved with a new coach, they are more dynamic. We are dealing with important injuries, but we must compete. We were better than them in Naples and must be better here,” continued the Spanish tactician.”

Xavi admitted that tomorrow’s game is the most important of the season for the La Liga giants.

“It is, but we are ready, with confidence. We haven’t played in the quarter-finals for four years. We face a team that is not in the best moment but won the title last season. We need a packed stadium.

“We already played good games against big clubs like Real Madrid even if we lost in La Liga, but also Atletico and Napoli. We must perform similarly but be more effective inside the boxes.”

The atmosphere at Barcelona’s ‘new’ stadium has been a matter of debate for the whole season as it is not as frightening for opponents as the Camp Nou which is currently being redeveloped.

“Montjuïc must be similar to Camp Nou. Be full and be our 12th player,” insisted Xavi.

Talking about the Partenopei stars and trying to predict the most dangerous ones for his Barça side, Xavi said: “I like Napoli players in attack. Politano, Kvara and Osimhen, but also how they defend.

“I like Lobotka; he is good in the build-up and doesn’t lose possession. I’d like to see him in a club like Barça.”

Barcelona beat Mallorca 1-0 on Friday while Napoli were held to a home 1-1 draw by Torino on the same day. The Catalans sit 3rd in the La Liga table, eight points below leaders Real Madrid.

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