Barcelona faces immense pressure following our successful era: Xavi
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez expressed on Monday that his experience as a player for the club set a high standard that they are currently struggling to meet in the Champions League.
During the period between 2006 and 2015, Barcelona, the Catalan giants, were victorious in four editions of the competition. However, since then, they have suffered some embarrassing eliminations. They let leads slip against Roma and Liverpool, and experienced a heavy defeat by Bayern Munich in recent years. Moreover, they have failed to progress past the group stage in the last two seasons.
Xavi, in a news conference, stated, “There is a tremendous amount of pressure on us, as the expectations are extremely high – that’s what it means to be Barca. This is a consequence of the successful era we had in the past decade, from 2006 to 2015, where we clinched four Champions Leagues.”
The coach mentioned that the club’s objective is to advance beyond the group phase, starting with their upcoming match against Belgian champions Royal Antwerp on Tuesday. He added, “We enjoy challenges, but the level of demands is incredibly high, it’s relentless. It is a result of inheriting a remarkable era that is considered the best in the history of this club.”
Despite the challenges, Xavi expressed confidence in his players’ ability to cope and their excitement to kickstart their new European campaign. He said, “When I look at the faces of the players, I see joy and hope. The team is filled with hope and determination.” Barcelona faced financial difficulties in the summer transfer window but managed to secure loan deals for Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo.
Furthermore, they acquired Oriol Romeu, a former Barcelona youth team player, from Girona as a replacement for Sergio Busquets. Romeu, the 31-year-old midfielder, reflected on his unexpected return to the club, stating, “If I told you that when I joined Southampton, I anticipated playing a significant role at Barcelona one day, it would be a lie. It was hard to imagine. Football is unpredictable and full of twists. Nevertheless, I am happy and hopeful of doing a good job.”
On September 18, 2023, Xavi’s comments were posted on Twitter by Besoccer_com.