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‘You train for 1 hour, it’s done’ – Barcelona dressing room unhappy over physical preparation

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It is no secret that Barcelona’s physical preparation has been below average in recent years. The testament to the same is the drastic improvement in the fitness of players who have left the club.

Ousmane Dembele, who was seemingly perpetually injured at the Catalan club, was considered a case beyond repair and missed 19 games through the same in the 2022-23 season. Last season, he did not face a single setback for Paris Saint-Germain.

The questions around Barcelona’s physical preparation were thus completely warranted, but Xavi voraciously defended his staff for the work that was being put in.

Now, MARCA reveals that the poor preparation was even a cause of an internal rift.

Players were unhappy

As revealed by the Spanish outlet, not only the administration but also several players thought that something had to change in the training regime Xavi implemented.

“Here in Barcelona you train for an hour and go home,” a player reportedly told a friend, admitting the poor quality of preparation.

The players themselves requested the manager to intensify the training, and in fact, had their personal trainers to compensate for the management’s slackness.

Several Barcelona players were unhappy with Xavi’s training style. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

After all, the team was regularly losing players to injuries in the first half of the season.

Once Xavi raised the level of training, the injuries at the club unsurprisingly saw a steep fall and the board thus decided to bring in names like Julio Tous and Raul Martinez in the summer to beef up the training staff. Despite that, however, the management faced the axe.

Prospects ahead

Hansi Flick, over the years, has ensured that his side is always ready to compete on a physical level. His sextuple-winning season at Bayern Munich itself showed a high level of fitness maintained by players across the field.

With the tactician moving to Barcelona now, a lot is expected to change in terms of the training regimen and physical exercises. In fact, Flick is bringing a specialist to take care of the same.

Barcelona’s injury list next season, needless to say, will serve as a clear indicator of whether or not the players were right to feel hard done by the previous management’s slackness towards physical preparation.

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