It was meant to be — Xavi is officially on the bench of Barca!

Zlatko Ilijevski
16 Nov 2021

The turbulent period is behind the club from Catalonia. Barça is going through difficult moments, struggling with strong financial problems, which have led to disappointing results on the field. The club was forced to part with Lionel Messi last summer. They parted ways with several other first-team players, in order to relieve the coffers and start economic rehabilitation.

The idea of President Joan Laporte, who recently returned to the top of the club, is to pay attention to young players, offspring of the famous Barça football school La Masia and to find new stars among them, who should eventually return the club to the path of old successes. The project was entrusted to Ronald Kuman, but the Dutchman was fired after a series of bad results. Xavi has now been appointed in his place.

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One of the most successful footballers in the history of Spanish football and Barcelona spent 24 years at the Camp Nou, before going to Qatar to end his playing career. He has 133 appearances in the national team (13 goals), two European titles, and one world champion, while he wore the Blaugrana jersey on 767 occasions, scoring 85 goals. With his beloved club, he won eight titles in the Primera, four Champions League trophies, three Copa del Rey, but also numerous others.

It's time to ring the bells at the Camp Nou stadium. For a long, long time, Barcelona fans have not had the opportunity to look forward to one signature so much. In recent years, they have suffered so many disappointments that they have become skeptical of everyone. Okay, almost everyone. Xavi is a dimension in itself, though. The man who played 767 games for Blaugrana, won 25 titles and left numerous followers to continue talking, "it was easy for Messi when he had Xavi and Iniesta behind him".

He may not be a coach with a lot of experience, the question is still whether he will be able to do what they hope for at the Nou Camp, and that is to return great results, but one thing is for sure - Xavi will return to the club the rules that were considered an obligation while he played in Barcelona.


Players must show up an hour and a half before training

Until now, a certain deviation was allowed in Barcelona about when the players had to show up in the locker room since the training started at 11 am, and as of today, all players must be there at least 90 minutes before the start. The goal is for everyone to have enough time to prepare for training, to have a quiet breakfast, and to be maximally ready. They can also use that time for individual conversations, which concern aspects of work. So, every player will have to show up at the club by 9.30.

Professional staff in the club two hours before the start of training

Xavi will be the one to set a personal example, so his assistants and other members of the professional staff will have to show up 120 minutes before the training, in order for each player to have everything ready the moment he appears in the locker room.

All players eat in the club restaurant, according to the instructions of the nutritionist

Personal diet choices will no longer be an option at the Nou Camp. From today, all players of the first team of Barcelona must have lunch in the club restaurant, according to the parameters of the nutritionists from the club. Proper nutrition can prevent injuries and improve the physical preparation of any player.

Fines are introduced

Since Luis Enrique left, the sanctions in the locker room for more or less serious, that is, the most serious mistakes made by the players, have disappeared. Professional footballers must know what their rules are and if they do not follow them, they will be financially sanctioned. It is true that this way of management can only work in an ideal scenario, while in real life it is somewhat more complicated to report. Xavi played in Rijkaard's time, when the locker room lived in complete relaxation, but also when Guardiola was there, who had a strict code of conduct, which quickly bore fruit.

Increasing penalties

The penalties that will be applied in the locker room will have their exponential growth. This means that when a player is late for training, he will first be fined 100 euros, the second time he will pay 200, and the third time 400, and so on indefinitely. In the time of Luis Enrique, some players reached the amount of 6,000 euros in fines for such actions.

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No stay until late 48 hours before the match

When the team is 48 hours from the game, all players will be forbidden to stay awake after midnight. It is considered that the player must be aware of the match and absolutely concentrated and motivated to come to it in the best possible order. One of the conditions that cannot be negotiated is that the player must lead an orderly life, and this especially refers to the period before the matches themselves.


One of Xavi's rules will be meritocracy, known as leadership based on merit, talent, skill, intelligence ... In terms of Barca's locker room, it will be the only way to success, which means that only those who train best and perform their duties will be in competition. for the starting 11. The others will be on the bench or they will not be in competition for the team.

Control of non-sports activities

Footballers may have other activities that are not exclusively related to football, but if they ultimately affect their performance at the club, they will have to be under the supervision of the club. This refers to long and multi-hour trips, which will not be possible without the explicit approval of the coach. During the season, private trips of several hours by plane cannot be made.

Prohibited risky activities

Players will no longer be able to be seen surfing or riding an electric bicycle. This type of practice will be sanctioned and will be treated as a serious violation. If this happens, the player will have to deal with the legal department, as this will be considered a clear breach of contract.

A good personal example

The players are a basic part of the club and they must be the first to set a personal example. Empathy must be shown towards the fans and condemning attitudes are forbidden. During their stay at the club, players must adhere to the code of conduct and support Barcelona at all times.

For some, the situation could lead to the conclusion that Xavi will introduce work, order, and discipline at the Nou Camp, which he himself confirmed.

Xavi's first real working day will essentially be this Tuesday, he will have his first training from 11 a.m. and start preparing the team for the city derby with Espanyol. In extremely unfavorable circumstances, because due to national team obligations he will not be able to count on Alba, Busquets, Gavi, Coutinho, Araujo, Ter Stegen, De Jong, Memphis Depay, Clemon Lengle and Demir, Sergio Roberto, Dest, while due to injuries Pique, Pedry, Dembele, Brightwhite, Aguero, Ansu Fati, Eric Garcia and Nico are out of competition.

According to the latest information, Ansu Fati will take a break for at least a month.

Therefore, the Catalan media speculate that the first reinforcement could be - reinforcement in the ambulance. Barcelona's medical team is currently led by Ramon Canal, while Xavi blindly trusts Ricardo Pruni, who previously worked at the club, but had his last engagement in Dubai. Kanal and Pruna allegedly don't really like each other, so it is believed that the latter will take power in the ambulance. For now, Xavi has already made official the arrival of physiotherapist Ivan Torres, who was with him in Qatar's Al-Sad, and previously worked in Leeds, Bahrain, AEK, Apoel…

For those real reinforcements, on the field, we will wait for January. But without money ... It seems that the only salvation for Barca is for everyone to be healthy and for Xavi to really teach them how to play the ball.

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