Barcelona boss Xavi has claimed there are “no friendlies” for the Blaugrana, while sidestepping questions over a potential move for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.
The Catalan club continued their pre-season preparations in the United States with a 1-0 victory in an overseas iteration of El Clasico against Real Madrid, thanks to a glorious strike from new recruit Raphinha in Las Vegas.
With Robert Lewandowski handed a club debut, the future continues to look rosy for Barca as they seek to reverse two years of diminishing gains with a high-risk transfer policy to reclaim their crown in La Liga.
Part of that process comes down to a mental belief that every game is there to be won, per their coach, who says that even pre-season tests cannot be interpreted as kick-about games.
“There are no friendlies at Barcelona,” Xavi stated after his side triumphed over their rivals. “[We want to] win titles again. Everyone starts from scratch – we don’t go by your name.”
Asked about Kounde – who looks set to move to Chelsea amid talk of Barca hijacking the transfer – the Spaniard sidestepped a direct answer, merely adding: “We are trying to strengthen all the positions.”
When you make your Barça debut and win your first #ElClásico in the same day pic.twitter.com/L5jIJAW1Tu
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 24, 2022
Xavi was happier to wax lyrical about Raphinha and Lewandowski, with the two attacking talents the most significant fruits of Barca’s transfer dealings, having arrived from Leeds and Bayern Munich respectively.
“[Raphinha] makes a difference,” he added. “He’s dynamic on the wings. Robert is a world-class star who has adapted very quickly. They’ll give competition to the rest of the squad – they’ll have to wake up soon.”
Barcelona continue their pre-season campaign with another heavyweight European clash against Juventus in Dallas on Tuesday, before wrapping up their American tour against New York Red Bulls on Saturday.