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Xavi praises Bellingham but warns Real Madrid of Barcelona’s hunger

The Barca coach spoke to the media before the game

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has expressed his admiration for Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham, but insisted that his team will not focus on one player in the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday.

READ: Carlo Ancelotti’s pre-game quotes

Bellingham, who has scored 17 goals in 22 games this season, was the hero of the last El Clasico in October, when he netted a brace to give Madrid a 2-1 win at at the Montjuic.

Xavi, ahead of Sunday’s SuperCopa Clasico final, said that Bellingham is a great player, but that Madrid have many other excellent players to worry about.

“We do not focus on one player in Real Madrid because they have many excellent players, led by Jude Bellingham, who is performing at a great level,” Xavi said at the pre-final press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Xavi also said that it’s hard to predict any Clasico, but that there won’t be any question about Barca’s ‘hunger’ heading into the game.

“An El Clasico match with such intensity as this cannot be predicted and its outcome will be played out on the field,” he said. “We will compete for a cup that we won last year, and last year we played excellently. We will show our opponents that we are hungry and excited to win, but playing against Real Madrid is always a strong match and we will give everything we have to win the title.”

Barcelona vs Real Madrid will kick off at 8pm CET, and Managing Madrid will provide extensive coverage in both written and podcast form.

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