The Spain international has issued a rallying-call to his Blaugrana team-mates to hit the ground running as they look to retain their Primera Division title

Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez believes a strong start to the campaign is essential if the Catalans are to retain their Liga title this season.

The Blaugrana hit the ground running last term fully exploiting Real Madrid's initially patchy form and ultimately finished 15 points clear of their great rivals.

However newly-appointed Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti has spent in excess of €60 million on Isco and Asier Illarramendi this summer and Xavi has warned his team-mates they can ill-afford to expect a similar head-start this time around.