Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez praised the young players who appeared in the team’s final AFC Champions League group game against Sepahan, that ended in a 2-1 win for the Iranian side.
Addressing the media at the post-match press conference, Xavi said: “I am proud of the players despite the loss; we played with many young players.”
“We committed two mistakes and they scored two goals, and this is the level of competition in the Champions League.”
He added: “I always fear individual mistakes. We must learn from this, because the round of 16 will be more difficult, and we cannot make mistakes.”
Xavi continued by saying: “The small details will make the difference in the Champions League. We must be more effective in the next stage, which will be a knockout stage. One mistake is enough to make you go home. We must be focused and make a thousand calculations for each team in order to continue In the tournament.”
As for the team that he prefers to face in the round of 16, the coach said: “All the clubs in the Round of 16 are difficult. After two hours, we will know our opponent. We will study them well and it will be difficult, but we are excited to go far in the Champions League and we are ready to face any team from Group C.”
Asked about the level of the Al-Sadd team so far, after the end of the group stage, Xavi said: “We are close to being the ideal team. We need to improve in defense as well as in attack; this is part of football. We will try to work hard. I am very happy so far with the team and the players.”