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Sport Xavi's Storybook Barcelona Return Doesn't Mean an Instant Turnaround

02:00  24 november  2021
02:00  24 november  2021 Source:   si.com

Pep Guardiola convinced Xavi to not leave FC Barcelona for Bayern Munich

  Pep Guardiola convinced Xavi to not leave FC Barcelona for Bayern Munich The year was 2008, and Xavi Hernandez was thinking about leaving Barcelona.“After EURO 2008, I felt that Barcelona were ready to give up. Real Madrid were champions, not us. I knew the club were ready to sell me, if a good offer came,” Xavi said to MARCA (via Sport Bild). “I spoke to my agent Ivan Corretja and he told me that there was an offer from Bavaria. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wanted me.

Xavi Hernández returned to Barcelona as manager and revealed that not only had he twice turned the job down previously – first because he didn’ t feel ready and then because he didn’ t trust the previous administration or the chaotic situation in which the club found itself – but that he had also passed up the opportunity to work with the Brazilian national team. Xavi with club president Joan Laporta, who said ‘this is the moment in which Barcelona most needed’ the new coach. Photograph: Europa Press Sports/Europa Press/Getty Images. Pesado means heavy. Hard-working. Intense.

Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has no intention of returning to the club this summer to replace Ronald Koeman. The ex Spanish international has been heavily linked with a spectacular return to the Camp Nou throughout the last 12 months, even prior to Koeman’ s appointment as However, he has opted to extend his contract in charge of Qatari club Al-Sadd earlier this month, and despite being photographed in Barcelona in recent days, he insisted there is no substance to the rumours. “I don’ t know anything, I’ve come here on vacation,” he quipped to reporters from Marca at

There are glimpses of optimism for Barcelona under its new manager, but its immediate Champions League outlook is imperiled, underscoring the long-term nature of his task.

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A goalless draw between Barcelona and Benfica means that both sides keep alive their hopes of taking second place in their Champions League group behind Bayern Munich. But Tuesday’s meeting at the Camp Nou wasn’t really about that. This was about the return of a hero, Xavi’s first UEFA Champions League game as a manager and the continuation of his first steps on a very long road to restoring Barcelona’s status at the top of European football.

Xavi could have seven players back for Espanyol - report

  Xavi could have seven players back for Espanyol - report The injury situation is improvingThe Catalans have been plagued by injuries to key players throughout the early weeks of the season but the situation does appear to be improving, according to Diario Sport.

Xavi has taken over Barcelona at a difficult time in the club' s history, so it would be unrealistic for anyone to expect him to solve everything in just his first match. There were definitive improvements in his debut as the head coach at the Camp Nou, however, as his side produced a promising display in the first 45 minutes in particular as they went on to win their derby 1-0. Barcelona fans are smiling again after the return of club legend Xavi and these three points. It seemed in recent weeks that absolutely everything was going against them and that teams could score when creating hardly anything.

Xavi Hernandez wants a return to Barcelona but Al Sadd are not willing to let their manager leave at this stage of the Qatari club's season. Barcelona officials Rafa Yuste and Mateu Alemany travelled to Doha on Tuesday to try to negotiate Barca great Xavi ' s release from Al Sadd and met with the former midfielder's agents in Qatar on Wednesday. Speaking after Al Sadd's 3-3 draw with Al Duhail, which was watched by Barcelona 's delegates, Xavi said a return to his former side was "common sense" as negotiations continue.

Xavi’s appointment as successor to Ronald Koeman had prompted a surge of enthusiasm, with more than 70,000 turning out on Saturday for the 1-0 win over Espanyol. Torrential rain, rather than a slightly scratchy performance in the derby, meant there was a dip again down to 49,000, but the mood was far more positive than it had been in the declining weeks of Koeman's reign. Quite apart from anything else, Xavi offers the sense that Barcelona has gone back to its true essence.

Since the early 1970s, when Rinus Michels became coach and Johan Cruyff joined him as a player, Barcelona has been a Catalan outpost of Total Football. Cruyff restored the faith when he came in as coach in 1988, since when it had been propagated through the academy, La Masia, and his disciples. Pep Guardiola was a La Masia product who became Cruyff’s puppetmaster on the pitch, and Xavi, another La Masia graduate, performed a similar function for Guardiola.

Alves agrees Barca return under Xavi

  Alves agrees Barca return under Xavi Barcelona announced on Friday that veteran defender Dani Alves will be returning to the club as new coach Xavi Hernandez's first signing. Alves, 38, has been a free agent since leaving Sao Paulo in September but is ineligible until the transfer window opens early next window. He played for the Camp Nou outfit between 2008-2016 when he lifted the Champions League title three times alongside Xavi. "Barcelona and Dani Alves have reached an agreement in principle for the player to join the football first team for the remainder of the current season," they said."The Brazilian will be joining training from next week but will not be able to play until January.

Xavi himself has also avoided discussing the speculation publicly, with his team unbeaten to date this season. "I'm very concentrated on my work with Al Sadd and I don' t want to talk about anything else," he responded when asked about Barcelona . Barcelona are quietly confident and are in no rush. They have not reached out to Al Sadd yet as Xavi will do so himself, with Barcelona coming into talks late on, and for now they prefer to wait and see what happens.

The arrival of Xavi Hernandez as Barcelona head coach has had a shocking impact when it comes to staff at the Catalan club, as the former midfielder has looked to bring in some of the coaching team that worked alongside him at Al Sadd in Qatar. This has led to many experienced members of staff in the After Xavi returned to Barcelona this week, the changes begun straight away with Juanjo Brau, a long-time physio at the club, as he is no longer working with the first team. Neither is Albert Roca, the team' s physical trainer, nor his second in charge, Jaume Bartres. The changes have even reached the

Imago Images/Cordon Press/Miguelez Sports © Provided by Sports Illustrated Imago Images/Cordon Press/Miguelez Sports

Xavi has always been evangelical for that Cruyffian style. He speaks of playing football the right way as though it is a battle for the soul of the sport, and in that regard he was always the perfect candidate for Joan Laporta’s program of renewal after he returned to the Barcelona presidency. Barcelona is a strange club in that regard: being of the right philosophical school often seems to matter more than practical experience. Frank Rijkaard led the club to its second Champions League title, but he was a disappointment in every other management job he took on.

But style isn’t everything, however it may have underpinned the successes of the Rijkaard and Guardiola years. There are two major causes for concern. The first is that football has changed over the past decade. Structures of pressing have become more sophisticated, and teams have learned how to deal with sides capable of holding possession for long spells. The same blueprint that worked for Guardiola at Barcelona cannot simply be rolled out again now. And that is especially true given that this squad, for all its bright young players, is nowhere near as good as the side Guardiola inherited, nor are their funds available to strengthen it.

Barça, a new blow for Xavi

 Barça, a new blow for Xavi © provided by Sports.co.uk The Barcelona have been totally helpless. Arrived on the Catalan bench, less than two weeks ago, Xavi is being activated behind the scenes to rebuild the team and chain the good results in the short term. The situation is more than worrying at Barcelona . Authors of a season start more than mixed, the teammates of Marc-André Ter Stegen are in ninth place of Liga and still have not ensured their place for the round of 16 of the Champions League.

The Xavi era at Barcelona kicks off on Saturday night with a local derby against Espanyol. Teenagers Pedri (left) and Ansu Fati (right) will be the pillars of Barcelona ' s future under Xavi . But he also knows turning up for pre-match meetings on time doesn ’ t mean you win the match in style, just as making crowds of 10,000 happy with the presentation of himself as coach and 38-year-old Dani Alves as his first signing doesn ' t mean you can then make 90,000 happy on derby night.

Xavi ' s long-awaited return to Barcelona has been put on hold after his decision to sign a one-year contract extension with Al-Sadd. Barcelona said goodbye to a club legend when Xavi called time on a hugely successful spell at Camp Nou spanning 17 years in 2015. The Spaniard spent the next four seasons playing in the Qatar Stars League for Al-Sadd, before hanging up his boots in May of last year.

And then there is the more specific issue of Xavi. There is a danger always with fundamentalists that they can recite the philosophy without being able to enact it. Just because Xavi was a brilliant and intelligent player does not necessarily mean he will be so as a manager. Can he instill that style in others? Can he make tweaks and changes to adapt to changing circumstances and opponents? Perhaps he can, perhaps he can’t, but winning the league and cup in Qatar with Al-Sadd offers only flimsy evidence given the advantage of resources that club enjoys and the relative standard of football. That Xavi played with three of Barcelona’s first-team regulars only complicated the picture further.

On Tuesday, Barcelona started brightly and there were moments when a sympathetic mind might have seen evidence of Xavi’s influence. It did play high up the pitch, the wingers stayed wide and there were neat little triangles. But then Benfica was sitting off and perhaps that would have happened anyway. Barcelona was neat enough, but lacked cutting edge, too often misplacing the final pass. Memphis Depay’s reluctance to shoot with his left foot perhaps led to a couple of opportunities that were squandered.

Derby won for Barça, first successful for Xavi

 Derby won for Barça, first successful for Xavi © provided by Sofoot Barcelona 1-0 Espanyol Barcelona Goal: Depay (48th, sp) It could have been a little better ... but it could have been good worse. Video: 14th j. - Pochettino: "Messi was not worried" by not scratching in Ligue 1 (Dailymotion) for his first on the bench of his old club, Xavi saw the barça impose itself in the derby against Espanyol counting for the Fourteenth Day of Liga. But that it was difficult ...

Gradually the game sank into a tetchy midfield battle and Benfica offered an increasing threat on the break, particularly after Darwin Núñez came on. The introduction of Ousmane Dembélé from the bench gave Barcelona new impetus on the right, but Benfica held out and would have won had Haris Seferovic not somehow stabbed wide having taken the ball beyond goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in injury time.

Barcelona still leads Benfica by two points and goes to Bayern Munich, which is already through as the group winner, in two weeks for the final matchday, while Benfica is at home to Dynamo Kiev, which is already out of contention for even a third-place finish and a spot in the Europa League knockout phase. Critically, perhaps, Benfica has the better head-to-head record. Barcelona could be facing an extreme rarity: a failure to reach the knockout stage and the humbling act of tumbling into the Europa League's last 32. But Xavi’s appointment was never really about this season’s Champions League. It’s a much longer-term project than that.

More Soccer Coverage:

  • Xavi Needs More Than Destiny to Succeed at Barcelona
  • Xavi Passed on Brazil to for Chance to Coach Barcelona
  • Koeman Goes, But Barcelona's Problems Don't Leave With Him

Thanks to two late gates: Barça brings second victory under Xavi .
Barcelona brought the second victory under the new coach Xavi in ​​the second league game. In Villarreal there was a 3: 1 victory thanks to two later hits. © Getty Images Jubel Strap: The players of FC Barcelona are looking forward to the hits for 1: 0 by De Jong. Catalans under the new coach still unbeaten The first pass had no goals to offer, but opportunities offered themselves to Hauf. Specially Barcelona set off like the fire department.

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