This past weekend saw Barcelona succumb to a shock 1-0 defeat away to UD Almeria in La Liga. Given their impeccable run of form in the league and their opposition’s relegation struggles, the Blaugrana had been overwhelming favourites to win the match.
But that is now how things panned out at the Power Horse Stadium, as Barça put in their worst performance of the season according to manager Xavi, on the way to a surprise loss.
The defeat also meant that the Catalans had wasted a great opportunity to extend their lead atop the La Liga standings to ten points, having seen Real Madrid play out a draw with Atletico on Saturday.
The manager was in a foul mood after the game and naturally so, considering how things had gone down.
But, according to Mundo Deportivo’s Ferran Martinez, Xavi addressed his players during training yesterday and passed on an important message to try and motivate the squad after the setback on Sunday.
The message from the club legend was concise and clear: “We are at a key moment of the season and we must recover our passion.”
It was clear that Barça lacked that bit of intensity during the game against Almeria and the manager recognises that his team will need to recover the passion and energy in order to navigate the upcoming fixtures successfully.
Xavi also recognised that he was forced to make changes to the side due to fatigue setting in with some of his players while he was also without two key players in Pedri and Ousmane Dembele.
Now that another influential star in Robert Lewandowski has also been sidelined, the Barça head coach understands that it is more important for the rest of the team to step up and show that passion and desire, especially with a game against Real Madrid coming up.