Barcelona are having fun with a stellar season within the La Liga, the place the facet is at the moment 5 factors clear off the second-placed Real Madrid. The Catalan giants are on a four-match successful streak within the league and strengthened their possibilities to finish a title drought with a detailed win over Real Betis earlier this week.
However, the facet had confronted a setback earlier within the season when it was knocked out within the Champions League within the group stage; Barcelona had completed third within the group that had Bayern Munich and Inter Milan progressing to the round-of-16. Xavi, the membership’s legendary former midfielder who had returned to Barcelona as supervisor in November 2021, understands how necessary it’s for the membership to compete within the top-tier competitors.
“It’s difficult to manage Barcelona,” Xavi told Hindustan Times in a media interaction. “We have a lot of pressure. We need to win titles. Fortunately, I know the club and the environment.”
Xavi says he is drawing inspiration from his time as a player at Barcelona to take on the challenge of steering the club out of struggle in Europe. The midfielder represented Barcelona between 1998-2015, appearing in 505 La Liga matches and winning eight league titles. He also lifted the Champions League trophy on four occasions with the club.
“I’ve been here as a player for 24 years, so I’m proud and honoured to be the coach of Barcelona. I know the pressure here, many people criticise us, but this is Barcelona. I accept this challenge. I’m happy to be here. We need to win titles to avoid criticism,” Xavi says.
Barcelona may not be in the Champions League this season anymore, but it doesn’t mean they won’t have a tough competition in Europe. The club was drawn to Manchester United in the Europa League round-of-16 and will host Erik Ten Hag’s men in the first leg on February 16. United, like Barcelona, are also undergoing a revival under the Dutch manager; the side is currently fourth in the Premier League and entered the final of the English League Cup earlier this week.
“We were not lucky in the draw because we have to face Manchester United!” Xavi chuckled as he talked about the upcoming clash. “They are on a good run. It’s always a pleasure to play at Old Trafford. Ten Hag is doing a good job, they have very good players and it’s going to be really difficult to beat them,” said the Barcelona coach ahead of the clash.
Manchester United have struggled significantly over the past few years, with the club’s last trophy being the Europa League title in 2017. The silverware, however, looks closer under Ten Hag and Xavi says both clubs are slowly – but surely – on an upward curve.
“Yes, roughly (each golf equipment are at an analogous level),” Xavi advised Hindustan Times. “We are coming back. Manchester United and Barcelona, both are in the Europa League. I think both teams deserve to be in the Champions League, but this is our reality and we need to face it,” Xavi additional says.
The midfielder has been part of many memorable clashes towards United, and can now be assembly the membership for the primary time as a supervisor. “Manchester United and Barcelona have had many problems in the last 2-3 years. But I think we are coming back. In my opinion, (Erik) Ten Hag is doing a very good job. Both teams are in a similar process (of revival),” mentioned Xavi additional.
Barcelona is Messi’s dwelling
It might have been far more than a 12 months since Messi left Barcelona, however Xavi insists that the Argentina legend will probably be welcomed with open arms if he desires to return again. The Barcelona supervisor, who spent a big a part of his membership profession with Messi, mentioned the choice to return again is determined by “Messi more than the club.”
“Why not (about the potential of Messi’s return). I feel it is determined by him,” Xavi mentioned.
“What he wants, what he feels. Of course, Barcelona is always Messi’s home. Doors will be opened for Leo, especially if I’m the coach here. Let’s see what he wants to do. The decision depends on Messi more than the club.”
It was not too long ago reported that Messi is about to signal a brand new contract with Paris Saint-Germain; nevertheless, there was no affirmation on the identical.