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Xavi. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

“Our philosophy is untouchable – we go out to attack and enjoy ourselves”

With just over 48 hours to go till kick off, Xavi Hernández faced the media this lunchtime and explained: “I don’t think there is a feeling of euphoria. We have a great opportunity to beat Madrid and leave them 11 points behind us, but the season has really only just begun and it ‘s too early to be making calculations about what could happen, though it would be a big lead. We are coming into the game in good form, we are getting players back from injury and we are on a good run and full of confidence. Based on that, we’ll be going out to put in a good performance that the fans and we ourselves will enjoy”.

Important but not definitive

Looking to the game itself, Xavi explained: “the game could be vital for how the league pans out, but it won’t be definitive, whatever happens there is still a lot of the league to go. It would be an important win and a boost to us to leave a big rival 11 points behind. We just have to concentrate on our game and on winning  -that would be a big morale booster. It’s only three points, but it’s against Madrid and we have to think about the distance between us and what could be”.

“We won’t change”

The Catalan midfielder went on: “regardless of the difference in points between us right now, anything could happen in the game  - it’s Madrid and don’t forget that we were favourites last year too. We won’t change though- our philosophy is untouchable – we go out to attack and enjoy ourselves”. As to Madrid, even Xavi admitted that their game plan was not so clear, but warned: “they will be a powerful Madrid, like always – strong up front and with a very direct game”.

Asked about Tito Vilanova’s great start at the helm, Xavi made it clear: “he looks very strong to me, with very clear ideas. He communicates a lot with us; he has a big personality and is doing a great job”.

Piqué

Xavi Hernández also spoke of the absentees and doubts for the big game, referring to Puyol’s injury as “a real shocker – we’ll miss him”, whilst revealing that Piqué: “is doing everything he can to be in the game. It’s still 50-50 as to whether he makes it  - we’ll see tomorrow”. Asked about the chances of Song taking the Catalan’s place at the heart of defence, Xavi answered: “he’s ready to do that and he has shown that over the last few games. He could fit in and do the job perfectly”.

Contract renewal

Xavi Hernández, who is 32, admitted that contacts were ongoing to extend his contract beyond 2014: “I want to finish my career here, I’ve said that all my life. The Club is happy and so am I so I don’t see there being any problems”.

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