Connect with us


Can Xavi save Barca?



Barcelona have turned to Xavi Hernandez for overseeing one of the direst transitional phases in their history.

Wasteful transfer expenditures, piling debts, suffering humiliating defeats in Europe, and losing the talismanic Lionel Messi; things have been far less than ideal in recent times for the Blaugrana faithful.

Can Xavi be the saviour they are hoping him to be? 

Ronald Koeman, also a former Barcelona legend, failed to get a grip on the team throughout his tenure, and the situation continuously declined under his watch.

The Dutchman could not implement a free-flowing style, which has been the distinguishing feature for Barcelona teams and chose to go for a more direct approach instead.

Unfortunately for him, things did not turn out per his plan.

Xavi needs to fix midfield

As a player, Xavi is one of the best football has ever seen.

He was a midfield maestro who led Barcelona and Spain to the most prestigious trophies.

Playing as a deep-lying playmaker, the Euro 2008 Player of the Tournament was the nucleus of the dominating midfield in those all-conquering Barcelona and Spain teams.

On paper, therefore, Xavi appears to be a perfect appointment to sort out the disjointed Barcelona midfield.

The Catalan side has problems across all areas in the pitch, but undoubtedly, it’s the centre of the field where they seemed more lacklustre.

Barcelona have some exciting young midfield talents in Pedri, Frankie de Jong, Riqui Puig, Gavi, and Nico Gonzalez.

Pedri had an excellent Euro 2020 campaign with Spain while De Jong was a key member of Eric Tan Hag’s Ajax team that reached the Champion’s League semifinals in 2019.

De Jong is also a regular in the Netherlands national team.

Xavi will also reunite with his former teammate Sergio Busquets, who is the most senior presence in the Barca midfield right now.

The 33-year-old is still performing consistently for Spain but is struggling to replicate his national team form at the club level.

Xavi’s primary challenge would be to restore harmony in the Barca mid so that Barcelona can get back to the possession-based play that has earned them so much success in the past.

The Al Sadd experience

It’s natural to question whether or not Xavi was the right appointment for the Barcelona job, given his coaching credentials.

The 41-year-old has only managed Qatari side Al Sadd in his managerial career.

Even though he was extra-ordinarily successful at Al Sadd, you don’t need to be a football expert to realize that the La Liga is a monumental leap from the Qatar Stars League.

That said, Xavi’s coaching philosophy at Al Sadd did resonate with the Barcelona ethos.

His team enjoyed high possession, was great at transitions and was quick to win the ball back when they lost it.

The Dani Alves factor

Dani Alves is a footballer Xavi respects the most.

Beyond his footballing skills, Dani Alves is also a leader and has a winning mentality – qualities which Xavi wants his Barca squad to imbibe.

The right-back has hopes of being with Brazil at next year’s World Cup finals in Qatar which means that he will need to keep himself in shape and remain competitive to boost his chances of Tite calling him up.

Alves’ arrival also increases competition in the right-back position which has been one of the team’s weak spots. 

Sergiño Dest has been inconsistent and neither Óscar Mingueza nor Sergi Roberto have looked convinced when playing in the role.

Of course, it would not be easy to reapply this formula in a more competitive league, but Xavi has shown that he holds the fundamentals of the Cruyff school of thought close to his heart.

It’s no secret that Barcelona don’t have a perfect team at the moment to execute Xavi’s vision of one touch football.

They need to be patient and lay out a proper plan to redeem their status as a European powerhouse

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


WATCH: Georgina Rodriguez makes huge claim on Cristiano Ronaldo’s retirement in Football




Cristiano Ronaldo

Georgina Rodriguez made a huge claim on the future of her husband and star player, Cristiano Ronaldo, in Football. In a brief interaction with a host recently, Rodriguez was asked about the time left for Cristiano to make an impact at the highest level. Georgina looked honest in her approach to the question of the host and claimed something the fans would not love to hear.

Georgina claimed that the Portugal star has maybe one year more from him at the highest level. She felt that Ronaldo might play two more years before retiring and not more than that. She was however not sure if he would play for just one or two years and added that the Al Nassr star could also play more than that.

Watch the video of Georgina Rodriguez here –


“Cristiano one more year, then it’s over. Maybe two, I don’t know,” said Rodriguez in the little chat she had with the host. The video has gone viral on X and the fans have started sharing it on different platforms. Some of the fans feel that Georgina might be right, while others feel that she could be wrong, given the fitness and longevity of the star player.

Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo

On the 5th of February, Ronaldo celebrated his 39th birthday. He is currently one of the oldest players in the world. In the past, players at this age would have retired way back. But the fitness and consistency of Ronaldo make him play the sport as long as he wishes. In his career so far, Ronaldo has won many major leagues for Portugal and league teams like Real Madrid, Al Nassr, and Manchester United.

With United, Portugal won some major leagues like the FA Cup and the Champions League. With Real Madrid, the 39-year-old won the leagues like the UCL, Copa Del Rey and La Liga. He won it three consecutive times for Real Madrid. For Portugal, Cristiano had a huge contribution to Portugal. He has the most number of appearances and goals for an international team and won the Euro 2016 with Portugal.

Continue Reading


Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham slapped with Red Card as he argued with referee




Jude Bellingham shown Red Card
Jude Bellingham shown Red Card (Image Credit: Twitter)

England and Real Madrid player Jude Bellingham was slapped with a Red Card during the La Liga game against Valencia. In the game, the home team, Valencia was leading by 2-0 after 30 minutes before Madrid scored in the injury time of the first half. Vinicius Junior opened the scoring for Madrid while Hugo Duro (27′) and Roman Yaremchuk (30′) scored a goal each.

In the 76th minute, Junior scored an equalizer to keep the team in the game. However, in the injury time of the second half, Bellingham was given a red card as he argued with the referee against calling it a full-time before he could score. In reply, the match official decided to slap the England international with a Red Card. The team coach Carlo Ancelotti wasn’t happy with the verdict as the Three Lions player was making a pass at the time.

“I think what’s just happened is unprecedented. It’s never happened to me,” Ancelotti told reporters.

“We had possession of the ball and the match should have been finished when Valencia had the ball.

“What bothers us is the red card for Bellingham because he didn’t say anything insulting. He was frustrated of course,” said Ancelotti, adding that Bellingham had used a common English swearword when telling the referee it was a goal.

We are annoyed with Jude Bellingham’s Red Card: Carlo Ancelotti

“We were annoyed with Bellingham’s red card. He didn’t say any insults. He said in English ‘it’s a f—ing goal,’ but he was just saying what we were all thinking … [The referee] allowed play to continue. I think he made a mistake.”

“[Bellingham] was clear in what he said,” Ancelotti added. “He was quite vehement [in his reaction] but that’s normal, after what happened. It wasn’t an insult, not at all.”

Continue Reading


PL 2023-24: MCFC vs MUFC Dream11 Prediction, Playing XI, Fantasy League Today’s Captain, Vice-Captain, and more for Manchester derby




MCFC vs MUFC, PL 2024 Dream11

Super Sunday is set to witness the Manchester Derby in the Premier League 2023-24. The match between Manchester City (MCFC) and Manchester United (MUFC) is set to take place in Etihad Stadium, the home ground of Manchester City. The two teams have had a contrasting journey in the league till now. The fortunes of City changed ever since Pep Guardiola took over the club as the manager.

While the home side are placed in the second position in the points table currently, United are in the sixth place in the points table. In their previous encounter, City hammered Luton Town by 6-2 in the FA Cup. United have shown massive improvements in the last few weeks after not having a good start to their campaign. United were involved in a thrilling game where they beat Nottingham Forrest by 1-0 in their last game.

Both teams feature some of the best players in the world. The likes of Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland, Marcus Rashford, Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes, Casemiro, and others would be taking part in the match. Manchester City will start the match as the favourites, given their record in the ongoing league so far and the match taking place in their home. United with their improved record can challenge the home side.

MCFC vs MUFC – Match Details

Match – Manchester City (MCFC) vs Manchester United (MUFC), Premier League 2023-24

Venue – Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Date and Time – 3rd March 2024, 21:00 IST

Live Coverage – Star Sports Network and Disney plus Hot Star

MCFC vs MUFC – Head-to-Head

Both the teams from Manchester have a rich history in the sport. they have been up against each other in 191 instances. In as many games, Manchester United have been historically the better side with 78 wins to their name. City have managed to win 60 wins, as 53 games ended in a draw. In the last five games between the two sides in the Premier League, City have won four of the five games.

MCFC vs MUFC – Likely XI

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Akanji, Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva, Alvarez, Haaland, Foden

Manchester United: Onana, Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Amrabat, Casemiro, Manioo, McTominay, Fernandes, Rashford, Garnacho

MCFC vs MUFC – Fantasy XI

Grand League Team

Goal Keeper – E Moraes

Defenders – M Akanji, K Walker, H Maguire

Mid Fielders – Kevin De Bruyne, B Fernandes, R Hernandez, Casemiro

Forwards – E Haaland (VC), J Alvarez, M Rashford (C)

MCFC vs MUFC, PL 2024 Dream11, Grand League

MCFC vs MUFC, PL 2024 Dream11, Grand League (Source: X)

Head-to-Head Team

Goal Keeper – S Ortega

Defenders – M Akanji, K Walker, R Varane

Mid Fielders – K De Bruyne (C), B Fernandes (VC), B Silva, Casemiro

Forwards – E Haaland, J Alvarez, M Rashford

MCFC vs MUFC, PL 2024 Dream11, Head to Head

MCFC vs MUFC, PL 2024 Dream11, Head to Head (Source: X)

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2024 Wolf777news.