Xavi Hernandez expressed his pride in seeing Barcelona play a majority of their weekend win at Levante with 11 home-grown players.
With starter Dani Alves withdrawn early in the first half for Martin Montoya, Barca played almost an hour of their 4-0 win at Ciutat de Valencia with 11 players on the pitch to have been developed through the team’s youth academy.
“It’s extraordinary, especially for those of us that learned to play football at La Masia,” commented the midfielder after the game.
“We’re proving and showing the good work that’s being done [in the youth system]. [Louis] van Gaal said that his dream was to field 11 homegrown players, and today that dream became a reality.
“We played an excellent match, both on offence and defence. We were on target and Victor Valdes put the cherry on the top when he saved that penalty.”
The result on Sunday saw Barca extend their lead over usual title rivals Real Madrid to 11 points, but for Xavi there is little reason to relax.
“We’re pleased that we have an 11-point lead over Real Madrid, but we should only focus on how we perform on the pitch and try to create a bigger advantage over the team in second place.
“[Atletico Madrid] are an opponent to keep in mind, they are playing very serious football and they are brimming with confidence.”