Xavi / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Xavi Hernández talked about Barça’s position in the league after this Sunday’s vicotry over Levante at the Ciutat de Valencia. On one hand, the midfielder recognised that “we’re pleased that we have an eleven-point lead over Real Madrid, but we should only focus on how we perform on the pitch and try to create a bigger advantage over the team in second place.” Atlético Madrid lie in second and are within striking distance of the Blaugrana. Xavi noted that “they are an opponent to keep in mind, they are playing very serious football and they are brimming with confidence.”

On the match against Levante, the Barça vice-captain declared, “we played an excellent match, both on offence and defence. We were on target and Víctor Valdés put the cherry on the top when he saved that penalty.” Besides the victory and how it was achieved, one of the most interesting story lines from the match was when Montoya came in for an injured Dani Alves, thus giving Barça a complete homegrown team on the pitch from the 13th minute to the 75th. “It’s extraordinary, especially for those of us that learned to play football at La Masia. We’re proving and showing the good work that’s being done [in the youth system].” Lastly, Xavi said that “Van Gaal said that his dream was to field eleven homegrown players, and today that dream became a reality.”

“We want to keep on winning points, continue on this path”

Scoring one of the team’s four goals and providing the assists for the other three, Andrés Iniesta was one of the standout players of the match. The midfielder, who played on the left wing, declared that “this is the path to follow, we have to keep on winning points and we have to continue growing as a team.” When asked about the difference that separates Barça from Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, Iniesta said, “the league will decide how things play out. Altético Madrid are our main pursuer at the moment.”

Besides putting in a brilliant performance against Levante, Iniesta also managed to secure another impressive milestone in his career. The midfielder surpassed Guillermo Amor as the Barça player with the sixth-most appearances for the Blaugrana. On the team’s good form, the midfielder said “we have to be aware that we cannot maintain this level throughout the whole season and that we’ll go through some tough times, we have to enjoy the moment.”

Here are some of the statements made by FC Barcelona players after the match:

Gerard Piqué:

“We’re having a great start to the season and that’s allowed us to claim the top spot in the league.”

“The difference with Madrid is certainly not definitive. You can never count Real Madrid out.”

“We’ve been conceding a lot of goals recently from isolated plays, but today we put in a good defensive performance.”

“It’s an honour for all Culés to see eleven homegrown players on the pitch, because that proves our youth system is healthy and well worked.”

Sergio Busquets:

“Levante know what they’re doing and it’s very difficult to beat them.”

“It’s an honour for the homegrown players, a lot of good players are coming out of the youth system and we’re very happy that we can all play together.”

“The Madrid derby shouldn’t preoccupy us. We have to focus on winning our next match, against Athletic, and it won’t be easy.”

Training session at noon

Barça will train at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on Monday at 12.00 in preparation for the Cup match against Alavés this Wednesday. After the session, Jordi Alba will hold a press conference.