Actual Madrid and Villarreal reaching the Champions League semi-finals this week confirmed the power of LaLiga, Barcelona supervisor Xavi mentioned on Wednesday as he eyes a return to Europe’s elite competitors subsequent season.
Actual knocked out holders Chelsea whereas Villarreal shocked German champions Bayern Munich to succeed in the final 4 of the competitors on Tuesday.
Xavi might solely watch on as his facet are in motion on Thursday within the second-tier Europa League, internet hosting Eintracht Frankfurt within the second leg of their quarter-final. The tie is degree after a 1-1 attract final week’s first leg in Germany.
Nevertheless, Xavi praised his Spanish rivals for his or her progress and mentioned it confirmed the standard of the league.
”What occurred on Tuesday exhibits that LaLiga is just not far behind the Premier League,” Xavi instructed a information convention.
”It doesn’t matter what, LaLiga will at all times be LaLiga and it’s very aggressive. I noticed each video games. I’m a soccer fan. And ultimately, our major objective is to be again within the Champions League.
”By the best way, Villarreal are an enormous membership now, aren’t they? You all ought to put them in your massive golf equipment listing.”
The Europa League represents Barca’s solely practical probability of lifting a trophy this season as Actual have a 12 level benefit on the prime of the LaLiga standings. Barca are second, degree on 30 factors with third-placed Sevilla.
Nevertheless, Xavi denied there was strain on his facet to win silverware as a consequence of Actual’s type.
”It’s the historical past of Barca that calls for of us, not Madrid,” the Spanish coach mentioned. ”We don’t take a look at Actual Madrid to reflect ourselves. Our historical past is our largest strain and duty.
”Since (former participant and coach) Johan Cruyff got here, he set a bar for himself. Win by enjoying properly. That is how we Catalans are. That is how we dwell it. I don’t know the way it’s in Madrid. Madrid has a spectacular aggressive gene, however Barca is one other story.”