Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez congratulated Real Madrid on their 1-0 win in the Copa del Rey, but warned Los Blancos that the Blaugrana have bigger fish to fry this season. Despite missing out on Spain's domestic cup trophy, he is adamant Barca can wrap up the league and reclaim the Champions League, seeing off Real Madrid in the process.
"This is sport,'' he reflected philosophically after the game to Spanish publication AS.
''We were true to ourselves, but they caught us on the counterattack and took the Cup. We congratulate them and we'll try to compete in what remains. In the dressing room we have told everyone that we must continue and that we have competed very well.''
However the Euro 2008 winner threatened Real Madrid not to celebrate too early as trophies are still up for grabs.
''The two remaining tournaments are the most important,'' he suggested.
He also believes that Barca were the better team over the first 90 minutes and his team now know what to expect from Jose Mourinho's men.
''The first-half was even and in the second-half we had them from there. We just didn't score. What we expect [tactically from Real Madrid] is more of the same. Madrid press us, slow us down and mark us individually.''
Xavi will not stay downtrodden for long after Barcelona's loss as the club still maintains a strong advantage over Madrid in the La Liga title race. They are hoping to progress past Real Madrid into the Champions League final.