Xavi: I’m not 100 per cent, but…

Xavi Hernandez admits that he may struggle to be at 100 per cent for Barcelona’s match with Milan next week, but he will still play.

The midfielder is currently in and out of training as he tries to fully recover from a thigh injury sustained last month.

Looking ahead to next week’s Champions League Last 16 second leg with Milan, though, the 33-year-old is adamant that regardless of how he is feeling, he will be playing.

“We are playing for much of our season on Tuesday, and I want to be available. I hope to be in perfect condition but I will have to work for it,” he told Mundo Deportivo today.

“I have a little tear and I can feel something there, but there are still some days to go and I hope to be OK before the game.

“I really want to play – it is the Champions League, for the first game was unfair. I will do everything to be at my best, if not at 100 out of 100 per cent then at 90 per cent or 95 per cent.

“I have risks before. I am a playmaker, not an explosive player that goes from one end of the pitch to the other.

“I see a game in which they will be very defensive, where we will need to move the ball a lot and I want to be there to give that fluidity that we will need. I want to be important for the game and the team.”

Barca go into the midweek fixture off the back of some indifferent form, from defeat to Milan in the first leg to consecutive losses to Real Madrid.

“We must regain that intensity that made us great, that has won us titles. We must recover the defensive intensity and mobility.

“Everyone sees it. We’ve talked about it in the dressing room, even though we are without Tito Vilanova. Everyone wants to improve again.

“We have a poor result against Milan, the elimination from the Cup hurt us, but we can recover in the League and we are well placed.

“It’s a matter of being more united. Everyone trains well, like rockets, but maybe we are missing something. From the outside perhaps it looks greater.

“The other day in Madrid, perhaps we lacked a bit of mobility in attack and some defensive intensity.

“Sometimes you do not realise that you are failing to make space for a teammate by not moving. We have lacked the movement to create space, opponents have been very closed at the back too.

“We have studied by our opponents a lot, they have analysed us. Do we all have to give a little more? Sure, and we will from Depor this weekend.”

Tags Milan Xavi