Barcelona head coach Xavi singled out Frenkie de Jong for praise in their vital 1-0 win at Athletic Club.
La Blaugrana re-established their nine point lead at the top of the La Liga table with a battling victory in Bilbao.
Raphinha’s early goal was eventually enough to secure all three points for Xavi’s visitors as Barcelona picked up a sixth 1-0 league win since the start of 2023.
Despite being forced to hang on in the closing stages, as Athletic Club were held at bay, Xavi was under no illusions over how difficult it is to win in Bilbao.
“We played 70 to 80 minutes at a good level, but at a stadium like Estadio San Mames, it’s only natural to end up suffering, because they press a lot,” as per reports from Marca.
Xavi: “It’s a golden victory because this is a very difficult ground.”
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) March 12, 2023
“It’s a golden victory and a date that we had marked in the diary for some time.
“This is three very important points, but we have to improve, when we go ahead in games.”
Dutch star de Jong played a crucial role in the Barcelona engine room as part of a dogged late rally in the Basque Country.
“Frenkie de Jong is playing at a spectacular level, he gives us a lot. I think he’s one of the best midfielders in the world right now.”
De Jong has played a central role for Barcelona this season, missing just two league matches so far, and he is expected to once again reject any potential transfer interest to leave the Camp Nou this summer.
Images via Getty Images
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