FC Barcelona

Xavi 'happy' to have Galatasaray clash spoiled by Inaki Pena

Tom Gott
Inaki Pena impressed against his parent club
Inaki Pena impressed against his parent club / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages
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Barcelona manager Xavi has admitted he was happy to see on-loan goalkeeper Inaki Pena spoiling his night in Thursday's goalless draw with Galatasaray.

The 23-year-old left Camp Nou in January to join Galatasaray until the end of the season and was given his first taste of the Europa League against his parent club on Thursday, stealing the show with an excellent performance.

Pena made four saves and caught four crosses, as well as leading his team in completed passes (31) and ball recoveries (14).

After the game, Xavi was frustrated not to see his team score but confessed that he was happy that it was Pena who made life so hard for Barcelona.

"The idea was for him to go on loan and return to Barcelona to be a part of the squad," Xavi confirmed. "He's brave to go and show that it's not easy.

"He made our night miserable. I'm happy for him."

Pena, who has just under 18 months remaining on his contract at Camp Nou, is being lined up for a backup role at the club next season. Neto is expected to depart and those in charge want Pena to replace him as Marc-Andre ter Stegen's understudy.

Just how Pena feels about the prospect of sitting on the bench behind Ter Stegen is unclear, and the young goalkeeper gave nothing away when asked about his future after the match.

"I am focused on Galatasaray, although I know I have a contract with Barça and on June 30, I have to return," he said.

Pena added: "I'm very happy with the team's performance and, on a personal level, I am also happy. I needed minutes and I'm getting them here."

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