FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez sees Real Madrid as psychologically stronger than his team ahead of their Spanish Super Cup final meeting on Sunday.
La Liga’s two biggest clubs face off with the chance to lift the first piece of silverware in 2022/2023 on the line.
As things stand, the Catalans boast a three point lead over their bitter rivals in the Spanish top flight.
Ahead of the latest installment of El Clasico in Riyadh, however, Xavi finds that Los Blancos have a psychological advantage over his men.
“I see Madrid as very, very strong. Psychologically they have a point of advantage because they have played in more finals, they have more experience,” Xavi confessed in his pre-match press conference on Saturday.
“But we have to show our ambition and that we want and are hungry to finally win a title.”
Viewing the final as a “tremendous opportunity” for his group to clinch their first silverware together, Xavi reiterated that winning “is non-negotiable at Barca.”
“We are here to win titles, that is the objective. We are 90 or 120 minutes away from winning a title and we are going for it,” Xavi stressed.
“Not because the rival is Madrid, with another we would have the same desire. We have a lot of hope”, he repeated, saying that winning the Super Cup “would mean a lot for Barcelona fans”.
Broached to comment on VAR, which disallowed two goals for his team in the semi-final against Real Betis on Thursday, Xavi said that while some of the essence of football is lost in factors such as celebrations being delayed, the system is “fairer”.
“I like justice and that’s the way it is. Except in interpretable plays. There are things like offside that are impeccable, you whistle and that’s it. The essence of the celebration is lost a bit but is what it is,” he concluded.
Barca go into the Super Cup final as the tournament’s most successful club with 13 victories but have not lifted the trophy since 2018.
Furthermore, 12-time winners Real Madrid can equal their tally by coming out on top in the second Clasico of the season.