Dani Carvajal is expecting a rally from a Xavi-led Barcelona, insisting they cannot be ruled out of the title race in LaLiga.
Real Madrid cannot afford to be complacent despite Barcelona’s early season struggles, defender Dani Carvajal says.
Barca are ninth in LaLiga heading into the November international break, already 11 points behind leaders Real Sociedad and 10 shy of second-placed Madrid.
The Blaugrana are winless in four as a miserable season, which began with Lionel Messi leaving for Paris Saint-Germain, continues at Camp Nou.
Club great Xavi will take charge when the campaign resumes, with Sergi Barjuan having overseen two league matches since Ronald Koeman was sacked.
Xavi, who won 25 major honours in his Barca playing career, said as he was presented this week: “We have to work hard to get back to winning trophies.”
Most commentators expect, at least in the league, silverware will have to wait until next season, but Madrid stalwart Carvajal is not ruling Barca out.
“Far from it,” he told Marca. “We respect all rivals. We are surprised to see Barca so far behind, but no one can rule them out for any title.
“Respect is essential. Teams have better and worse moments, but everything comes out.”
Indeed, Carvajal expects a big impact from Xavi, saying: “It is a safe change. The arrival of a figure like Xavi for Barcelona will fill them with enthusiasm.
“Although he is a rival, I wish him all the luck in the world – not against us – because he is a colleague.”