12 May 2023
Barcelona’s joy and Xavi’s crowning moment
It was one of the more romantic football reunions when Xavi returned to Barcelona. With the Catalans on the cusp of securing their 17th LaLiga crown, his legendary status is about to grow even more.
It all looked shambolic at Camp Nou when he took over. Now it looks far more settled with a league title to savour.
If this becomes the start of a period of consistent success, one could argue that Xavi’s performance as a manager could be a more important contribution to Barcelona than his performances as a player.
In the buildup to their possible coronation against Espanyol on Sunday (live on Showax Pro, courtesy of SuperSport), here are the reasons this title is so important for Barcelona and Xavi.
The first title post-Messi
There was a time when his leaving the club was unthinkable. It ended with a Lionel Messi announcement interrupted by many tears. Then the end of the Messi era became a reality.
Barcelona spent a lot of the last decade being accused of being a one-man team (especially in Messi’s latter seasons at the club), so becoming Spanish champions for the first time without their world star and talisman is an important step for the club going forward.
Growing the elite club of winning players and managers
The Catalan motto mes que un club can be translated to “more than a club” and Barcelona love to showcase former players that have kept their loyalty beyond their playing days and have gone on to manage the club.
There is an elite category of those that have gone on to win the LaLiga title as a player and as a manager at the club that Xavi is about to join. Johan Cruyff, Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique are the ones that can boast with all of them becoming important symbols of the club’s values.
What those three also have in common is that they are all Champions League-winning managers with Barcelona, which will have to be a future goal for Xavi.
Successful integration of many new signings
So many new players got transferred in to Camp Nou amid plenty of controversy and derision. While they still need to bring more success in the future to justify the money they’ve spent, it’s a commendable feat by Xavi to integrate all of those players and make them a part of a title-winning team in their first season at the club.
Many of the new players have shone individually. Robert Lewandowski is the LaLiga top scorer this season. Raphinha has provided pleny of game-breaking moments. Jules Kounde has brought class to the defensive line. Franck Kessie will always be revered for that winning El Clasico goal that all but wrapped up the title.
While this group of players will need to go up a level next season, winning the league is a great start for this new Barcelona project.
A triumph in nurturing La Masia talent
Graduating products from their famous academy will always be a priority at Barcelona and after a slight lull, the talent coming through and making an impact for the first team is rejuvenating that culture.
Pedri is in his third season playing top flight football and is developing a habit of scoring important goals. Gavi is in his second LaLiga season and is becoming more influential in midfield. Ansu Fati seems to have put his injury problems behind him and looks like he could be on the way to fulfil his obvious potential.
The stage is set for these players to follow Xavi’s example as a player and conditions are perfect for him to guide them as a manager.
Why Showmax Pro?
Showmax Pro is a streaming service available for Showmax subscribers in Africa that bundles the Showmax entertainment offering with music channels, news and live sports streaming from SuperSport.
Subscribers can live stream the latest seasons of the English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, UEFA Europa and UEFA Conference leagues, FIFA World Cup qualifiers and more.
The platform also offers a wide range of other live sports events including athletics, professional boxing, and the world’s biggest marathons.
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