Xavi relishing Madrid semi

Xavi Hernandez has revealed that facing Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey is an ‘extra motivation’ for Barcelona.

The first leg of their last four meeting in this year’s Spanish Cup is set for this Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“We are looking forward and are hopeful. We want to reach the final and we have the extra motivation in that it is Real Madrid we face,” commented Xavi to reporters this week.

“We will try to prove ourselves, play and implement the philosophy that we have had for years.

“There is no way other than to try to win the game and score as many as possible so as to decide the tie back home at the Camp Nou, in front of our fans.

“Iker Casillas’ absence? I hope he recovers soon. Iker is the soul of Madrid and a key player in the national team.”

Xavi was talking to reporters after putting pen to paper on a two-year extension to his Barcelona contract, tying him to the club until June 2016.

“The first decision was always to stay here. The club made an effort and I appreciate it. I will attempt to maintain my performances of the past few years.”

Tags Clasico Xavi