Xavi Hernandez believes Barcelona “deserves” to win the Spanish league title.
The Catalan giants have endured a testing campaign off the pitch, as former president Sandro Rossell had to quit, following accusations of misappropriation of funds.
The defending champions also received misconduct charge over Neymar’s transfer from Santos, while an initial 14-month transfer ban for recruiting minors from non-EU nations has recently just been suspended pending investigation.
“We have got a historic opportunity and now we cannot mess it up,” says Xavi. “The league is over nine months and we have worked hard to get here.
“It has been a difficult year off the field but we deserve to win the league title.”
Barca’s opponent in the final game of the 2013/14 season, Atletico Madrid, needs only a draw to end their 18-year wait for a first league title. The ‘Los Roji Blancos’, who also completed a league and cup double in the 1995/96 season, face city rivals Real Madrid in Lisbon on Saturday, May 24, in the final of the European Champions League.
Skipper, Xavi, admits Atletico are the team with the best defense in Europe.
“They are the best in defence, they pressurise you, support each other, and have different options up front,” said the 34-year-old Barça playmaker,” Xavi explained.
“La Liga should be seen as it is, competing until the end. Up against us are a great team.”
The veteran of three Fifa World Cups with the ‘La Roja Furia’, preparing for his fourth appearance in Brazil, also said everyone believed Barca’s League title defence was lost.
“We really believed we had no chance, but maybe we gave up too soon. We thought we’d lost the League and these things happen in football, and now it’s in our hands. It’s a very important title, and we have to be together,” added Xavi.
He insists the current generation of the ‘Baulgranas’ are specialists in fighting till the end, stressing that playing in front of the Camp Nou crowd presents Gerardo Martino’s side the best opportunity to salvage their season.
He said: “This is a great generation, and this is an historic opportunity for us. It’s a unique game and I don’t know if it will happen again.
“It’s a great final, a fantastic match. It would be the icing on the cake for this generation, playing such an important match as this.”