Xavi Hernandez was full of praise for his Barcelona side as they advanced to the Europa League quarter-finals with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Galatasaray. However, he warned his side that their stunning recent form counts for nothing ahead of El Clasico on Sunday night.

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Barcelona went a goal down in their Europa League last 16-tie with Galatasaray, but Pedri then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged the goals which eventually took Xavi’s men through. Next up is a trip to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu to face LaLiga Santander leaders – Real Madrid.

“Today was important, “Xavisaid after the match in Istanbul. “It is a European competition and we want to go far.

“And you could say that we are in a good place [ahead of El Clasico]. But that means nothing, I have seen that many times before. It will be very difficult. It will be tough.”

The Barcelona coach praised his side for the character that they demonstrated in their comeback victory on Thursday night against Galatasaray.

“I believe that we played a great match,” Xavicontinued.

“We played with personality. We attacked well, we were patient and we came back in a difficult stadium.”

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He reserved special praise for Pedri following his magnificent solo effort to draw Barcelona level in the first half.

“[Pedri] sidestepped two men,” Xavi said. “It was a stunning goal.


“He is capable of this and much more. He is only 19 years old. It is a goal of spectacular beauty, sublime. He made the difference.”

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