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Barcelona president places full faith in Xavi amid speculations over his future: “Total confidence”

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

The Barcelona coaching job is not meant for the faint-hearted. With external pressure, expectations to constantly perform and maintain an appealing style of play, Xavi is currently going through a first-hand experience of the relentless demands in the eye of the storm.

Given Barcelona’s tumultuous form as of late, the hot seat has only been getting hotter for Xavi. But amid speculations regarding his future and a wave of criticism, President Joan Laporta has come out to express his full support for the Barça legend.

 In an interview with EFE, via Mundo Deportivo, Laporta touched upon a number of topics, most notably expressing his faith in Xavi.

He has all our trust and you deserve it. When you give a person confidence, they give their best. The confidence we have in Xavi is total.

Apart from his knowledge, he is a great coach, but he also has the virtue that he is a resistant person, who protects the players from him, which says a lot in Xavi’s favor.” he remarked.

“My relationship with Xavi is very good, it is normal because he is our coach. We also have a history together, which makes our relationship very good,” he added.

What does being Barcelona president mean?

A video of Johan Cruyff has gone viral in which he advised Xavi that if he aims to survive at Barça, he would have to “send the hell out” to the president (in office).

With that context in mind, the president was asked if he would understand that Xavi asked him not to go down to the locker room needlessly or to only make an appearance for special occasions.

Laporta replied he does not put his nose in matters that do not involve him and places faith in the designation of roles. However, he did mention that weak leadership has led to failures in the past and thus it’s his duty to command responsibly.

 “Xavi has not told me this (smiles), because I am not a president who goes down to the locker room every day or who goes to all the training sessions. I only go down when I think I have to and obviously always in agreement with the coach.

It is very important to distribute roles and that everyone assumes their own. The players have to compete to win; the coach has to train to make a competitive team.To

Those of us who have taken the reins of the club have suffered the consequences, a disastrous legacy and this is what cannot be. Everyone has to know what their role is. I’m not a very invasive president. I like football because they tell me things, and that’s how they do it.” Laporta said.

The president was also asked about the changes in the squad for the match in Antwerp, and whether there was a disparity in criteria between the club (Deco) and Xavi, to which Laporta answered:

We intended to reach a consensus with the coach and Deco and seek to do ‘Team Building’. The journey was long and the physios recommended we stay there.

The players told me that they preferred to return after the game, but in the end, we preferred to stay there, since according to the doctors, rest was the most appropriate.

Laporta was also asked if in terms of the coach’s future, would losing have any severe consequences.

Despite showcasing his trust in Xavi, the 61-year-old did acknowledge that failures always compel a harsher reaction and tough decisions to be made, although he did not directly name the coach.

Losing always has consequences. If we don’t win titles this season, decisions will have to be made, the ones the club needs most, based on what has been done. The thing is that we are alive in all the competitions.

We aspire to win all the competitions, all the ones we are participating in. Now we have the Super Cup and we will start the Copa del Rey against Barbastro.

El Presidente. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

“We are in the League, we have distanced ourselves from the lead, but we are third and the important thing is always how it ends.

At the moment we have hit a slump and our direct rivals are holding up the pace, but I think they will also have a slump and we will progress for the better because we have already recovered some players who were injured and are fundamental for this team.” he said.

Barcelona’s team building

Furthermore, Laporta was asked if the team would play better football by now with Xavi claiming that the project is halfway done.

Xavi is doing very well, and he is a person with enormous resilience. The team has gone from strength to strength, in general.

Last year we won the League and the Super Cup and this year we aspire to win more titles, I think we can repeat last year and achieve something more if our injuries are respected and everything progresses as we hope.

Xavi has the necessary resistance capacity at the right times. He knows what the team lacks, what it needs to have that cruising speed that takes us to victory, but not killing the games when we have them in our face and some moments of lack of concentration, penalizes us… This is what will be correcting for sure.” the president answered.

Blaming injuries for the fluctuations in form this season, despite having a better squad this year Laporta added:

“I blame it on the long injuries of Pedri or Frenkie de Jong, two players who make us have control of the ball. This for me has been one of the keys that this squad, which is better than last year’s, has not given the level that we all expect. Now that we have recovered these players, we are recovering our level and our way of playing is once again evident.”

“Perhaps now that we have control of the ball, players with Gavi’s blood, who gives us another balance, have been injured… But I am convinced that the team will go further.”

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