Spanish Super Cup: The vindication of Xavi | Sports

Xavi Hernández breathes easy after his first title as Barcelona coach. So does the president Joan Laporta, who has opened the windows for the second time since he returned to command the Camp Nou. The victory in the classic against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup haggles the storm always latent in Barcelona, ​​especially after Barcelona spent a year and a half without titles, the same period since Lionel Messi’s goodbye was signed . Peace, in any case, could already be smelled at the Joan Gamper Sports City. The dressing room is given to the Catalan coach, even when Xavi surprises the group with the match plan, as was the case in the final in Saudi Arabia against Madrid.

Xavi did not want to give clues to Carlo Ancelotti and before the classic he did not talk to his players about the idea he had to counter the Italian’s strategy. With an unprecedented system since he landed on the Barça bench, the Catalan coach found the formula to protect Busquets, boost De Jong, free Pedri and make Gavi shine. “He is not as organized as Pedri, that’s why we put him on the wing and Pedri in the middle. Against Atlético we could not do the same because Lewandowski was not there ”, they underline from the Sports City.

In fact, his drawing caught the attention of a footballer who imagined himself on the pitch since the start of the duel in Riyadh. The Barça coach, in any case, seeks to compensate for any type of long face in the dressing room with long talks with his boys. “He explains to you why you play, why you don’t play. She is way above us, ”explains one of the Catalans. “In that sense, he is very similar to Luis Enrique, who is spectacular when dealing with the players,” insists the same source. From the staff, however, they qualify: “He learned that way of connecting with the players from Luis Aragonés.”

Xavi acts as an umbrella for young people. While Pedri and Gavi do not remove Xavi from the poster, the Barça coaching staff has managed to inflate Alejandro Balde’s confidence —in the League classic at the Bernabéu, the Madrid players had been struck by the lack of security of the youth squad— while Araujo is a guarantee at the back, either as a central defender or, like last Sunday, as a winger to silence Vinicius. The Madrid striker completed two dribbles and only attempted one cross. And, among his most outstanding statistics, no shot on goal or any situation created. Araujo leads in the field and worries in the offices. Barcelona, ​​which continues with financial fair play problems, has not yet been able to register the new contract for the Uruguayan central defender that it announced last April (the link will last until 2026 and the defender will have a clause of 1,000 million).

Araujo’s situation is similar to Gavi’s. The youth squad renewed in September, but he still has the subsidiary card. “It is expected that, at the end of the season, we will register the files for Araujo and Gavi and renew Balde,” Joan Laporta assured this Monday morning in RAC1. “Balde’s renewal looks very good, but we have to work so that we are recognized for the fair play that we must have,” added the president. The Barça club intends to increase the salary limit by 15%. “As could the other teams that signed the agreement with CVC,” they say in the Barcelona offices.

Barcelona wants to tie the future and Xavi recover the middle class of the squad. “There are players who have to take a step forward. We need more leadership, more winning soccer players”, they complained from the coaching staff. “For that we have to win a title. There are many of the new players who have not yet won anything with Barça”, replied one of the heavyweights in the locker room. The coach has managed to recover the best version of Ter Stegen (30 years old), his insistent commitment to Dembélé (25) begins to fuel and De Jong’s football (25) contradicts the idea of ​​the football management, which last summer they pressured the Dutchman to leave the club. In the coaching staff they do not forget Christensen (26). “Nobody gave a penny for him and he is one of the signings that has best adapted,” they underline from the coaching staff. Still, in any case, there is no way to hook Ferran Torres (22), Raphinha (26) and Eric Garcia (22). In fact, the three have started the last classic on the bench, more than 120 million investment sitting next to Xavi in ​​Riyadh.

From young people to the middle class, Xavi also has the key to secure the continuity of Sergio Busquets. The Barça captain has been considering leaving the Camp Nou for a long time when his contract ends in June 2023. However, according to what they say in the offices of the sports management, Busquets is only considering continuing at the club if Xavi continues to lead the Barça project. The pivot, who lifted his first cup as Barça captain in Riyadh, felt comfortable in the classic with De Jong. “Frenkie is a fantastic player. He is very intelligent tactically and wants to learn ”, praise the Dutchman from the coaching staff.

“This team is progressing very well. I ask you to continue to have the necessary patience so that we can consolidate a team that aims very high. This is seen by all the culés who have lived glorious times ”, Laporta puffed out his chest. The president who, from the outset, doubted the Catalan coach, now shows confidence in Xavi’s work. The success of the team gives air to the top Barça manager. The coach, for his part, responds to Laporta. “I have a friendly relationship with the president, I am very happy for him, he has invested very strongly in this project,” he said. He knows, in any case, that his claim only makes sense on the field. And, against Madrid, he already took the first step. Now he only thinks about the League. “It is our great objective”, they conclude from the coaching staff.

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