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FC Barcelona captain Xavi Hernández was one of the main contributors to this afternoon's victory versus Granada. It was his first Liga match as a starter this year, making his happiness tough to hide. "It was great to play all 90 minutes. I think I can still play and it was a lot of fun."
This match began to look eerily similar to Wednesday's draw, but this time Barça figured out how to solve the defensive puzzle thrown at them. "After the tie against Malaga, we really needed to come out and play a good match. And we did that."
Xavi gave special praise to his line mate Ivan Rakitic. "He is just a total package on both attack and defence. He doesn't turn the ball over, plays smoothly, and can really go up and get the ball. What a great signing."
Finally, Xavi gave some expert insight into a couple small differences he sees in this year's squad. “Its not as different as it seems. We are getting to ball inside a little more, with a bit less pressure on the wings. You know, offensive stuff. But everything else is just the same."
What other players said:
"After the draw at Malaga, it's always nice to get a win heading into Champions League play. The team looked good, didn't give up any goals, and also scored a few goals. We are really happy for the win."
"We always want to work hard and not be predictable. Today's objective was to control the ball and get it back quickly if we lost it."
“Luis Enrique asks the same of everyone. I know him well and I know what he expects from me."
“I was happy to get some minutes, the other day I started in the Champions League and today I came in in the second half."
“Besides the result we cannot forget about our training because we have to believe in the work we do every day. One result doesn't change anything. Some days nothing works at all."
“The team showed that we are here to compete and to fight. We can't worry about what others do, we can only worry about ourselves."
“No, I haven't spoken with the coach. He knows I like playing midfield, but I am used to playing centre back. It really doesn't matter, I'll play where they need me, the coach is the one who decides. He has confidence in me on defence and today I also got some minutes in midfield."
“I think when we talk about defence its not just about the last line of four, it's about the team defensively as a whole. We are getting good pressure and making it tough for the other team to score. It is not about individuals, it's about the team."
“We are going to Paris to do our job. And they are a great team. Not looking at the result, we are working very hard but still must improve as much as we can."
"It wasn't easy. Granada work hard. We weren't very comfortable at the start but we put in a full effort for 90 minutes. It was a nice match and we are happy to have won. And beating Granada was really important."
"It looks like I have played here my whole life? It's a long season, I am thankful for everything. I just want to keep going, to have fun. The most important thing is to help the team, to keep winning, and if I can chip in with a goal or two that's great. But really the goals don't matter as much as the team."
"It's tough playing against a good defensive team. We were more patient than against Malaga and we also moved the ball more quickly."
“My biggest thanks to the fans. I always do my best."
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