Xavi happy with Tata Martino, Neymar

Madrid, August 1 (IANS) FC Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez says he is happy at the arrival of coach Tata Matrino after Tito Vilanova's decision to step down due to his treatment for cancer.

"We lived a sad circumstance with Tito's relapse and it was the worst news the dressing room could hear, but now we have a new coach and we will try and recover from something that has been tough for the team and adapt," said Xavi, reports Xinhua.

"Martino is a serious person, he is hard working and humble and he will bring in tactical variations and new hope. We will adapt to him and he will adapt to Barca," he commented adding that the new coach was a "winner".

"He wants to recover the intensity that we lost at the end of last season in playing the ball and also for us to work harder in pressing our rivals," added Xavi, who explained that the former Newell's Old Boys and Paraguay coach was "hard-working and adaptable".

"He is willing to talk and reach agreements. It is an extra motivation, but we still had the hunger to win; this team wants to carry on making history," he added.

Martino is not the only new arrival at the club, given that Brazilian striker Neymar is the star signing for the season and could even take some headlines off Lionel Messi.

"We have made him welcome and he is going to make a difference he can beat players and he is also fast. He is a great player and we have to enjoy having him in the team. He is magnificent and he won't have problems in adapting as football is the same all over the world. He will make Messi better and Messi will make Neymar better," said the veteran.

Xavi also praised youngster Sergi Roberto, who has finally got a chance in the first team after Thiago's decision to join Bayern Munich, but was less willing to discuss historic rivals Real Madrid and their attempts to sign Gareth Bale.

"Madrid have signed well and will fight for titles as they always do," he said, adding he had not seen Bale's full game and as such was not able to comment on whether or not he was worth the 100 million euros Madrid are said to have offered to buy him from Tottenham Hotspur.

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.

Matches