Xavi asks for support in derby debut
The Xavi regime at Barcelona is set to officially kick off this weekend when the Blaugrana clash with local rivals Espanyol after Periquitos climbed back into La Liga when they topped the Segunda División in 2020-21.
While many are hoping that the former Barca great can arrest the poor start to the campaign that took root at the Camp Nou under Ronald Koeman, Xavi himself made a passionate plea to the home support ahead of the derby encounter.
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) November 19, 2021
Quotes provided by Gianluca Di Marzio from the pre-match press conference earlier today show the importance attributed to the fanbase by Xavi ahead of a crucial tie, as the two rivals sit level on 17-points;
“I assure you that we will give everything. We ask you to help us as much as possible. We are Barça and we must be united. If they are close to me as on the day of my presentation, it will go for me well.
I have already talked to the players, we will have to compete and we have to control all the game situations. There are many details, but we are very enthusiastic and we want to start well. I liked that I saw in training; we have talent. Tomorrow we will also need the fans.”
Xavi took an even more personal angle in his passionate plea, mentioning his familiar connections to the club and what it means to be a part of the fanbase:
“My father is a reference in everything. In my life. On a sporting level, a human level. Lately we talk practically daily. He’s very culé, like my mother, and we all really want things to go well. It’s added pressure, but the whole family took it very naturally. Let’s go.”
Xavi: "We need the fans. Let them add, applaud, shout. We have to be very united. If they are dedicated like the day of my presentation, that is enough. We will try to make them happy watching the team play." pic.twitter.com/aQUiU6Jqpm
— Barca Vision (@Barca_vision) November 19, 2021
Personnel setback as Barcelona prepare for Espanyol
Given the current state of affairs at the club, the task at hand that is presented to Xavi is hardly an easy one as Barcelona sits well off the pace set by La Liga leaders Real Sociedad and bitter rivals Real Madrid, who are just one point behind the Basque-based outfit.
But Xavi will lament his misfortunes already after a major setback in the attempts by Spanish starlet Pedri to return to action for Barça after being out injured since September.
Barcelona has dealt with a wealth of fitness concerns all season long before Xavi returned to the club, and at current can count no less than eight first-team assets that are sitting on the treatment table, including Sergio Agüero, Ousmane Dembélé, Ansu Fati, and Sergiño Dest. Dani Alves is also unavailable until January, and despite the passionate plea to the Blaugrana faithful by a returning prodigal son, it remains a tough task ahead for Xavi in a dream return home.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.