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Barcelona legend critical of club’s handling of youngster, warns team in need of overhaul

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Photo by Matt King/Getty Images for FIFA

Barcelona and Brazil legend Rivaldo has criticised the Catalan giants for the way they have handled teenage striker Vitor Roque since his arrival.

Roque, 19, was signed by Barcelona from Athletico Paranaense back in the summer of 2023, although his arrival came about only during the winter window.

However, since joining the squad, the Brazilian international has found minutes extremely hard to come by under Xavi Hernandez.

Rivaldo believes Barça did not give enough chances

Speaking on his compatriot’s situation, Rivaldo stated that Roque is a talented player and needed more chances to prove himself at Barcelona and that the club did not know how to give him those opportunities.

“I think Vitor Roque has lacked opportunities. They have given very few minutes to a player who has excelled in the Brazilian championship. He is very young and has not had the necessary chances to show his football,” he said (h/t SPORT).

“Sometimes this happens. He has not had opportunities and now they believe that the player will not be useful for the club, so they will look for a transfer.

“I think Barcelona didn’t know how to give him more opportunities and he is a good player, he has a future.”

Roque should be given more chances says Rivaldo. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Rivaldo admitted that he did not know what was the reason behind Roque’s limited involvement but insisted that the striker had shown what he was capable of in Brazil, saying:

“From the outside I don’t know exactly what happened and I don’t know what his day to day life is like in training to see if he deserved a chance. But we know what he did at Athletico Paranaense and the Brazilian Championship.

“I don’t know if it was a lack of opportunities or if he didn’t show it in training at Barcelona and that’s why he didn’t get the chance.”

Barcelona need an overhaul says Rivaldo

The 1999 Ballon d’Or winner also commented on Xavi’s decision to continue as manager at Barcelona, but insisted that the club had not done enough this season, as he said:

“Xavi had a contract and a lot of things happened within the club, after the defeat against PSG and Real Madrid in a controversial match, and to calm the situation, Xavi has decided to stay.

“He has shown that he is a great coach, but this season, in my opinion, Xavi and FC Barcelona in general have not done well, they have not won any titles.”

Sending out a warning to the club, Rivaldo insisted that the squad needed an overhaul this summer, as he remarked:

“I think we have to sell players, make signings, strengthen ourselves for next season because this year was bad and Madrid are there, practically champions of La Liga and in the semi-finals of the Champions League.”

“This year was a big disappointment for Barcelona fans and for football fans,” he concluded.

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