Thursday, December 9, 2021
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Xavi’s presentation in full as the new Barcelona coach

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Xavi Hernandez was presented as the new permanent head coach of Barcelona today. The former midfielder has finally returned to Camp Nou after years of speculation about a possible return to his boyhood club. 

The 41-year-old was presented at the stadium and had a press conference that lasted over an hour. Here are the things that were discussed, in quotes carried by Marca

He was first asked about the youngsters and his role in developing them further into talented prospects for the future.

“I come here to help the [youngsters] to perform, to be happy,” said Xavi at his press conference.

“We count on everyone. We want to see them all and [help them] perform in training.

“They are very young. Nico, Gavi … it is difficult to understand how they put in this [level of] performance at this age. You have to help them perform in each game. Each match is a final exam.”

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Xavi’s former teammates are still playing at Barcelona such as Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Gerard Pique. He was asked about his relationship with the veterans in the team as well, to which he said: 

“I have a very good relationship with [the veterans],” added Xavi.

“I have a direct relationship with them and I have already spoken with some. They have to lead the way in important moments. They have to lead the team. We have very young players. We will give them power in the dressing room.

“The plan is the same as for all the players. They all start from scratch. The ones I know, are precisely the ones whom I will push the most.

“I want them to lead the dressing room and they are very important because they have experienced many situations. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I have no problem. I consider it an advantage.”

Xavi was asked the highly anticipated question of his footballing philosophy and the style of play that Barcelona could expect to play. 

“More than the system, it is the model, the idea,” noted Xavi.

“At Al Sadd we played 3-4-3 because we were very dominant. It will be different here.

“In the end, it’s Cruyff’s idea. My first defender is the striker and the first attacker is the goalkeeper. You have to work tactically, know what to do on the field in different situations.

“We will tell those who are there what the idea is, what the rules are. We have a plan so that the footballer can perform. I have everything planned until the Espanyol game. The method, the idea and the game model are explained.

“If you can compete in our own way, we will be very close to achieving the results. If we convey to them that this way you can play well and win, I think we will succeed.

“We believe that the best way to win is by playing well.

“[All ways] are respectable, but we want to play happy, attacking [football], without speculating, with high pressure, with possession. Knowing why things are done. We will try to help them.”

Considering his detailed answer, we can expect the classical 4-3-3 at Barcelona once again, with high possession and pressure being priorities. 

The new coach was also asked about his inspirations and the people he models his coaching style after, and how he will be compared to others as well: 

“I have learned from everyone. There are times when I am on the bench and I remember comments from coaches that I have had [in the past],” he stated.

“I have been very lucky because they have given me a lot of experience. I have been nurtured by many people. I have an idea and I want to convey it.

“Being compared to [Guardiola] is a success for everything he has done. He is a reference to me, the best in the world.

“Any comparison with him is bad for me. I know where I am, we have great demands for ourselves and the results will tell.”

The Spaniard will take charge of his boyhood club for the first time after the international break in the local derby against Espanyol. 

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Avatar of Arsh Das
Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.

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