Xavi and Sandro celebrating a goal during the match against Villarreal / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

On Wednesday night Barça started off on the right foot in the 2014/2015 UEFA Champions League, coming away with a 1-0 win against APOEL Nicosia. Xavi Hernandez played a central role in the victory, his 142nd career match in European competitions. It was also his first start of the season.

The midfielder was happy to be out on the pitch from the game's outset, but was less than enthralled with the team's approach to an overly defensive APOEL side. “We dominated but didn't move the ball around well enough. It was a bit slow to unfold." He quickly added, "Getting the win was most important but there's no question we need to play better."

Xavi was quick to compliment Luis Enrique. "He's extremely honest. A great choice to coach Barça." Xavi also had kind words for youngsters Munir, Sandro and Samper, who made both his team and Champions League debut. "These guys are extremely talented and pretty lucky to have a coach who is willing to put them out there."

After the match Dani Alves, Marc Bartra and Adriano also took a moment to talk about the match:


  • “We're really happy to get the win and start off in a positive fashion. It was also nice to get shutout."
  • “We tried as hard as we could, but we couldn't really put the ball in the net."
  • "Defensively, I thought we improved a lot and kept up the pressure."
  • "Luis Enrique has really got us on track, back towards the top. He has everybody giving 100%."
  • "I think it is really nice to get playing time for everybody, which will end up being really important."


  • “Nothing comes easy in the Champions League. It seemed like our opponent might be easy but deep inside we knew they were going to put up a fight, especially defensively."
  • “It felt really good to play alongside Piqué.”
  • “The most important thing was the shutout. It gives us confidence."
  • “We're tough here at home, and we know that we have to win here and get as many points as possible when we are away."
  • “The coach really has everybody on the same page. I think everybody's in good shape both physically and mentally."


  • “It was a tough match. That's the Champions League. We played a good defensive team that knows how to counterattack."
  • “Everybody knows what the coach is like and how he likes to work. He has a lot of confidence in everybody, which I think is really good for the team. And because of that everyone is ready to play."


Bartra: "Barça should always win" by fcbarcelona

Players post match reaction por fcbarcelona
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