Home Sport news Xavi’s first great Barça opportunity

Xavi’s first great Barça opportunity

by archysport

BarcelonaBarça return to Riyadh to play in the Spanish Super Cup, a title they have won thirteen times but which has been resisted since the 2018-2019 season. In fact, in the last precedent of the competition in Saudi Arabia, the team fell in the semifinals against Atletico Madrid, which was just sentenced by Ernesto Valverde. While the Extremaduran coach was living his last days at the helm of Barça and his team was eliminated despite signing a great match, Xavi Hernández rejected, from Qatar and almost in parallel, the proposal of Éric Abidal (then technical secretary) and Òscar Grau (then CEO) to take the reins of the locker room. That team still had players like Leo Messi and Luis Suárez, but it was a giant in decline and the Egarenc considered that it was not yet time to return to Barcelona. In the summer, Xavi would say no to Josep Maria Bartomeu’s Barça. That season would end with Lisbon’s 2-8 win over Bayern and Quique Setión fired badly. In the face of the current refusal of the current Barça coach, Bartomeu handed the locker room keys to Ronald Koeman.

During the Dutch coach’s time at Barça, the Spanish Super Cup was played again, precisely in Spain. Last year, the coronavirus made it impossible for the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to win a few hats (also for the participating clubs) by sending it back to Saudi Arabia and the stage was the stadium of La Carthusian Monastery of Seville. A comeback from Athletic Club, with a great goal from Iñaki Williams in extra time (2-3), deprived Barça of the title, which would close a difficult season with the only consolation of winning the Cup. At the whim of football, Xavi can now win his first title as Barça coach in the same competition that cost Valverde his neck and on the same dates when he refused to return to the club for the first time. But to get to the final, his team will have to beat Real Madrid in the semi-finals this Wednesday at King Fahd Stadium (8pm, #Vamos) in front of some 30,000 fans.

It will be the first classic corresponding to an official match that will be played outside Spain. The other two precedents correspond to friendly matches: in 2017 in Miami and in 1982 in Barquisimeto (Venezuela). It’s modern football. The bubble of a business that continues to grow and grow and in which money has won the game for fans. Some argue that moving events like this helps to try to change things in countries where their rulers are not ashamed to defend sexist and retrograde mentalities, such as Saudi Arabia. This is the argument used by the president of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales, when he announced at the end of 2019 that the competition would move to this country. On the other hand, there are those who think that it is absurd to play this competition away from Spain and the local fans of the participating teams, as Raúl García, a player from Athletic Club, defended a couple of days ago. another finalist team along with Atletico Madrid.

This is the wrapper of a classic that, in the strictly sporting aspect, is described as a “great opportunity” to know at what level Xavi’s Barça is. The Barça coach also expressed this in a speech in which he never tired of remembering the great moment of Real Madrid’s form, perhaps to protect his team from a possible defeat. It is clear that, without firing rockets, the white team is an effective team, leading the league alone and having two strikers in Karim Benzema and Vinícius Júnior in a state of grace. Not to mention that, under sticks, Thibaut Courtois is still a guarantee. In the most basic ABC of football, the pragmatic Carlo Ancelotti rolls an effective Madrid in both areas, both offensively and defensively. The whites left behind the doubts of the defeat against Getafe (1-0) by beating Valencia (4-1) in the last duel before facing Barça. Barça, on the other hand, fed them by showing their worst side against Granada (1-1).

But while it is true as a temple that the whole of Madrid is in better shape than the one in Barcelona, ​​it is also evidence that history has taught us that the classics often do not understand dynamics. “Against Madrid I have experienced them in all colors. Barça being the favorite and not winning, and vice versa. We are a team under construction, which is trying to do things well, and we will face a Madrid that is perhaps the best. “Team with the best state in Spain, but that doesn’t mean anything: a classic is unpredictable”, defended Xavi. “I would care if the players thought we were favorites. We think we can play a good game and we will do our best to get it,” said Carlo Ancelotti. “We are a little better in the league than Barça, but tomorrow is a final and anything can happen. There is no favorite in a classic,” said Toni Kroos.

Xavi’s reception against Madrid

With or without favoritism, Xavi’s Barça will look to follow their coach’s recipe to win the game: “We know we have the tools to hurt them. We will try to dominate the game, control it, be the protagonists with the ball and “We have to be very attentive to the transitions of Madrid. We have to be ready in the covers and skillful in one-on-one against their most talented players.” To do this, you can count on, although prudently and dosing the minutes, luxury reinforcements. Ferran Torres and Pedri, who have already overcome the coronavirus and this Tuesday have already trained with the team, and also with Ronald Araujo (with a protective splint in his hand) and Frenkie de Jong. All five have been discharged. The classic will also mean the return to the playing fields of Ansu Fati. Barça’s great hope.

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