We are Barca, and we have to give more than 100 per cent – Xavi

Xavi emphasised the importance of a “united” Barcelona and promised to do everything he can to improve results at the Camp Nou. 

The 41-year-old was recently appointed as Ronald Koeman’s successor, returning to the club where he spent 17 seasons during his playing career.

The former Spain international has spent the past two and a half years in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd, and knows the extent of the task at hand to turn fortunes around at the Catalan giants, but wants the fans to get on board with the project from the start.

Speaking at a media conference ahead of his first game in charge against Espanyol on Saturday, Xavi said: “We need all the support. We will give our all on the field. We will not have a problem with attitude, that’s for sure. We are going to give our all.

“We have to be united. We will try to make [the fans] happy, enjoying good football.

“It is more than a professional aspect. I am a Barca fan, and no-one is going to change this. I am going to give it my all to try and get good results.

“We are Barca, and we have to give more than 100 per cent.

“We’ve had group and individual chats, we don’t have more time and I hope we can see things in the game and psychologically. We’re here to get results.

“We cannot drop points, of course. We are ninth in the standings and that’s the reality. We cannot drop points tomorrow. We have to win.”

The World Cup winner also spoke about the importance of experience and youth in his squad, specifically mentioning the return of 38-year-old Dani Alves and the promise of 17-year-old Gavi.

“[Alves] is going to help us a lot in all aspects,” he added. “I know him really well, he’s a winner. He’s so positive, he has a great character, and also on the field we saw it. We saw his last games, he’s in great shape physically.

“He’s an outstanding player, one of the best I saw in my career. He’s going to help us a lot. It is a shame he won’t be able to play until January.

“[Gavi] can play as a winger, an attacking midfielder, also as a pivot. He has a complete profile. He has good physical conditions. He’s a versatile player, and a really important player for us.”