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Barca starlets Yamal and Cubarsi 'can define era of world football', says Xavi

Xavi called on Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi to "maintain their level"
Xavi called on Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi to "maintain their level"AFP
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said on Friday that teenage stars Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi could go on to 'define an era' of world football.

Yamal dazzled against Brazil in a friendly for Spain on Tuesday while Cubarsi made his debut for La Roja last week against Colombia and also featured against the five-time World Cup winners.

Both have become key pillars in a revived Barcelona side back in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in four years and still holding some faint hopes of defending their La Liga title.

Yamal, 16, is Spain's youngest ever player and goalscorer, with 17-year-old Cubarsi the youngest ever defender to play for his country.

"They have to maintain their level - Barca is the highest rung of world football," Xavi told a news conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Las Palmas in La Liga.

"Many have arrived (at elite level), but maintaining it is very difficult, but they can, they have everything, the mentality, the capacity, I think we're looking at two players who can define an era at the club, and even in world football."

Xavi said winger Yamal was 'very calm' and mature for his age, despite exploding into the limelight.

"On a mental level I see him as a happy kid, a joker, he's enjoying it more and more, I see he is happy," added Xavi.

Barcelona, second, are eight points behind leaders Real Madrid in the top flight, but can cut the gap to five before Los Blancos face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

After this weekend, Barcelona's next match will be Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on April 10 in the French capital.

"I'm more worried about (Las Palmas) than the game against PSG, which is a fair few days away," continued Xavi.

"We're focussed on tomorrow, it's vital to gain three points to put more pressure on Real Madrid."

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