Even as pressure mounts on Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez in light of the team’s recent performances, the 43-year-old has found support from higher-ups at the club as well as former players.
Indeed, club president Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco have come out and spoken in support of Xavi, insisting that he is the right man for the job.
Former Barcelona captain and club legend Carles Puyol also recently expressed his faith in the manager, asking the fans to trust the ex-midfielder.
Gerard Pique backs Xavi
Now, another Barcelona legend, Gerard Pique has come out in support of Xavi, stating that the manager knows what the club needs and has asked for patience with the 43-year-old.
Pique, who shared the pitch with Xavi as a teammate and then played under him once he became manager, spoke on RAC1 (h/t SPORT) about the pressure at Barcelona and on Xavi, and said:
“The way we’re playing is not what you’d expect when you see Barça. It’s the same as always, the demands are maximum at this club and, although the results aren’t too bad, the feelings aren’t so good.”
“We are in the month of November, at the start of the season, alive in all competitions and there is still a long way to go,” Pique added.
Urging for patience with Xavi, the iconic former defender said: “Teams that are very young have very positive things and others don’t, but we are in good hands, both in terms of the present and the future with Xavi.
“In the pre-season we made signings and the level of demand was set very high. That’s why we all hoped to be a little higher in the standings, but there’s still a long way to go.”
Pressure and criticism affect players
Not long ago, Xavi claimed that the Barcelona players were being affected by the pressure being put on them from the criticism that comes from the media.
Echoing similar sentiments as his former teammate, Pique said: “Yes, of course it affects you, it’s obvious.
“You also have to know how to live with it because it will happen throughout your career, whether you are young or a veteran. Playing for Barça means pressure from the fans, from the press. And it’s not just about the result, but also about playing well and knowing how to live with it.”
Further backing Xavi as the right man for the job, Pique added: “I have one hundred percent confidence in Xavi. Who are you going to look for?
“He’s from the club, he knows what the club needs, he knows what message to give within the dressing room, he knows the situation they’re in and how to turn it around. We have to keep on trusting.”