Player Features

FC Barcelona Head Coach Xavi Holds Long Crisis Meeting With Players

As reported by Catalan outlets SPORT and Mundo Deportivo, FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez held a crisis meeting with his players in training on Tuesday following their Spanish Super Cup final dismantling by Real Madrid.

The Blaugrana is in a rut after a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of its bitter enemy in Riyadh, and a general slump since an October 28 loss in El Clasico to the same foe which was its first defeat of 2023/2024.

SPORT reported that there was a sombre mood at the Cuitat Esportiva Joan Gamper back in training, where Xavi held a “long and candid conversation” with his squad.

Both parties aired some of the grievances, and it was concluded that in order to compete with the big boys both in La Liga and on the continent, Barca needs to bring more to the table “in terms of attitude and aptitude”.

Self-criticism, which is a highly-valued virtue in Spain, is also essential meaning that the coaching staff will also shoulder its fair shame of the blame.

Xavi believes that his wounded men must “turn the page as soon as possible” considering what is left to come in the current campaign.

Barca is still competing for three trophies after all, and it isn’t impossible to reverse the situation and get back on an even footing.

The players are also aware that it is on them to pull a comeback off. After all, it is they themselves who contest the 90 minutes on the pitch and they must take a step forward as demanded by former Barca coach Pep Guardiola from The Best awards ceremony on Monday.

At Mundo Deportivo, it is reported that the locker room has a clear slogan in that the players must “grit their teeth”.

Being more intense and “passionate” without the ball is also necessary – as deducted by the coaching staff after reviewing the Super Cup final – in addition to improved solidarity as a unit and “running more than anyone else” when possession is lost.

With all this in mind, Barca will get back on the horse against Unionistas de Salamanca in the Copa del Rey last 16 on Thursday when new signing Vitor Roque could make his starting debut.

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