FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez did not hide his satisfaction after his team qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday, responding to criticism from the Spanish press.

“I told my players to relax, that no one died. There was a lot of unfair criticism, we were called a Champions League clown. And now what do we do?” Xavi told a journalist at a press conference.

“We had to be better than Napoli and we were. It’s a very deserved qualification, we can be proud. “It’s one of my best moments as Barça coach,” he added.

The Catalan technician, who announced his departure at the end of the season after a series of poor results, nevertheless assured that his future was not changed by the qualification of his men for the quarters:

“As we speak, nothing has changed. If we had lost you would surely have written that I was on the street,” he quipped.

Xavi also praised his young nuggets from La Masia, who made the difference against Naples: “we are still a team under construction with very young players. “It’s the right path and Barça has a great future with these players.”

Central defender Pau Cubarsi, 17, voted man of the match for his first C1 cap, impressed the Blaugrana coach:

“When he has the ball, my heart rate doesn’t go up. This is the best quality of Cubarsi, a 17-year-old kid who is calm when he has the ball and who, when he has to play direct, does it with intelligence. He’s wonderful,” he said.

“We are facing a wonderful development for Barcelona and for Spanish football, a top central defender for many years to come,” Xavi added of Cubarsi.