FC Barcelona

Xavi insists Barcelona cannot accept anything but victory

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Xavi was unveiled as Barcelona boss on Monday
Xavi was unveiled as Barcelona boss on Monday / David Ramos/GettyImages

Xavi has said that his Barcelona side 'can't accept' draws or defeats, as he gave his first interview since replacing Ronald Koeman as the club's new head coach.

Koeman was given his marching orders last month following a poor run of results. Since then, former Barça left-back and Sergi Barjuan has been in temporary charge of first-team matters while a deal for Xavi was hammered out.

Despite some delays due to a disagreement with the Spaniard's former club Al Sadd over his release clause, an agreement was finally reached a few days ago, and Xavi, having arrived in Catalonia from Qatar over the weekend, was presented as the new coach on Monday afternoon.

He joins with Barça in disarray on and off the field. Financial problems are twinned with dramatic underperformance from a playing squad beset by an injury crisis, but Xavi struck an ambitious tone when addressing the media.

"This is the biggest club in the world and I'm going to work hard to reach your expectations. Barcelona can't accept a draw or a defeat. We have to win all the games," he said.

"I come prepared. My DNA didn't change. We need to take charge, have the ball, create opportunities, be intense. We have a mission to rescue many things that were lost."

One of the ways that Xavi plans to turn the club's fortunes around is by demanding high standards in the dressing room.

"We have to start with new rules that are going to be strict. It's not a matter of being tough, it's about having norms," he said.

"When we had norms in the locker room things were good, when we didn't, it went bad. So, we need to have order. Being professionals."

"It's a medium to long-term project but we'll need to work really hard to find the results. The expectation and the demand will be the highest. No excuses will be made or accepted."

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