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Barcelona were unhappy and frustrated by the lack of intensity in training under Xavi

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

One of the key reasons that led to Xavi Hernandez’s departure as the Barcelona coach was the growing distrust between the coach and the players, as well as the board.

It was reported earlier that many had objected to the way Xavi used to conduct training sessions in Barcelona.

Questions raised over Xavi’s training regime

Those claims have been reinforced in The Athletic’s latest report, which takes a deep dive into Xavi’s training regime at Barcelona. The report even suggests frustration among board members and players alike, over the matter.

The issue came to a head in January when Robert Lewandowski, who is used to playing under top coaches across Europe, personally approached Xavi to voice concerns about the training sessions.

Lewandowski wasn’t alone in his dissatisfaction. There was a general lack of intensity in training, a far cry from the demanding environment many expected under Xavi.

Lewandowski was not happy with Xavi’s training regime (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Barcelona’s laxity in training was highlighted particularly before the high-octane encounter against PSG. Despite being granted a day off by Xavi, the players opted to come in and train on their own initiative.

The report mentions sources inside the club, who believe that Xavi has not been able to change his mentality from being a player to being a coach.

This suggests that Xavi was not putting in the long hours and meticulous planning required to elevate the squad’s fitness and tactical awareness, which was also one of the key reasons why Barcelona decided to sack the Spaniard.

Will things change?

Barcelona will now be hoping that things will improve, with Hansi Flick all set to replace Xavi next season.

The German is a more stringent manager when it comes to fitness and physique. He would demand the players to be more efficient on and off the pitch, which could be a boon for the Barcelona players and the team, in general.

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