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Xavi upbeat about fitness

24 May 2006 - 14:04:10

Spain midfielder Xavi has no worries about his fitness ahead of the World Cup finals.

The 26-year-old missed much of the season because of a torn cruciate ligament, but returned to play a minor role in the closing weeks of the campaign as Barcelona wrapped up the Primera Liga and Champions League double.

Xavi was a member of the Spain squad that flopped at Euro 2004 but did not make it on to the pitch, so is determined to both play in and impress at Germany 2006.

"I feel in good shape. The knee's good, I've got minimal pain after training and all I need now is to get fully match fit," he said.

"It was a serious injury and as it happened on December 2 there was a time when I thought I might not make it.

"But I got down to work straight away. Now I hope I can perform at the same level as before the injury.

"I'm even more motivated because of my experience at Euro 2004."

The European Championships in Portugal also taught Xavi about the dangers of complacency and he is keen to ensure none of his team-mates underestimate Spain's Group H opponents Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

He added: "At the moment we are just at the start of the training camp, but the sensations are very good. We are all very motivated and everything has gone perfectly so far.

"We are approaching this World Cup with the aim of doing something big.

"On paper we are the favourites for the group and if we can qualify as group winners then even better. But we know that any team can complicate things and make it difficult for us."


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