Barcelona drew 0-0 with Benfica on Tuesday, giving up hope of qualifying for the Champions League, but Joan Laporta has no doubt they will advance.
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Barcelona president Joan Laporta is convinced that Xavi can lead the club to a miraculous victory over Bayern Munich and thus achieve Champions League elimination phase.
They were Blaugrana Benfica scored a goalless draw at Camp Nou on Tuesday that their hopes of advancing during the 16th final will hang in the balance.
Bayern are already among the group winners, while Barca are second with a two-point advantage over Benfica.
However, the Portuguese club has on paper an easier final part of the group stage and a win over Dynamo Kyiv will be enough to advance if Barcelona fails to win at Bayern.
The Spanish giants were defeated by their German counterparts 3-0 at home in September, and in early December they face a big challenge to exit the Allianz Arena with three points.
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Nonetheless, Laporta says he is “confident” that Barcelona will rank among the 16 with a glorious victory planned by their “very strong” manager Xavi, who was appointed earlier this month.
“Beating Bayern is something that can be achieved,” Laporta said Diario AS . “A miracle will happen, I am sure we will win.
“Xavi is very motivated and very strong. I hope we are doing well, I think at this point Xavi’s arrival has earned a little respect from our opponents. They know we can do it again.”
Although Barcelona’s chances of winning in Bavaria seem slim, Xavi could have a substitute up his sleeve, as Ansu Fati – who has scored four goals in eight games this season – could return from the sidelines in time for the clash.
The 19-year-old striker was injured in early November, but Laporta expects to be able to play against Bayern.
Asked about Fati’s condition, he replied: “With Ans? Maybe it will come, the doctors will appreciate it.”
Meanwhile, Xavi was not impressed with his team’s performance against Benfica and will demand a much better game against Villarreal on Saturday and Bayern next month.
“We were much better than Benfica and we played a great game, we just missed a goal,” the Spaniard said. “If we scored, we would be talking about a great game.
“I’m still an optimist. We are Barca, we have talent and players who can make a difference. But today we added one point that is not worth Barca.
“We saw today that there are no physical problems. What we need to do is regain the confidence of players who can score goals. We will see what we can do in the market in January.”