Xavi: Ready to face Muaither, we need to play with all our strength

Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez spoke of his side’s readiness to face Muaither in the Amir Cup 2021 Round of 16 match which will be played on Tuesday evening at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, adding that the team is looking to win and reach the farthest point in the tournament.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Xavi said: “We are ready to compete against Muaither, a second division club. All the teams are strong and I expect a difficult match. This championship is very important to us. We look forward to competing in this tournament and winning it. All the teams always have motivation and are enthusiastic to play against Al Sadd.”

The coach added: “I am happy and proud to be a coach for these players. We must now forget the league championship and focus on the Amir Cup.”

“The championship has a knockout format, and clubs like Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been knocked out by second division clubs (in their cup competition). We must play with all our strength whoever the opponent is, as all the teams want to reach the final.”

Xavi added: “We have 25 players ready to play, and I do not have a second team. Any lineup we choose is ready to play, and we will decide which lineup will go into the match at the end of today’s session.”

Regarding his message to the players, Xavi said: “My message to the players is that we must reach the final. They have the motivation and spirit to reach the final.”

He added: “We lost in the Champions League against Persepolis and we committed a small error which saw us go out while we had the best players. I am not thinking about losing. My only thoughts are on the players and their performance, and preparing them to get the win and to reach the quarterfinal.”

Regarding the new tournament format, the coach said: “We have to accept the new format of the competition, which is fair to all teams. Playing for 90 minutes is a good thing, and we have to focus during these 90 minutes in order to win.”