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Saying that FC Barcelona is having a strange year is an understatement. Beginning the season with the exit of arguably the best player in history, Leo Messi, or the firing of head coach Ronald Koeman even before the mid-season break, Barça is going through a tough process at the moment. That is of course without taking to account the very difficult economic situation that the club is in. Eliminated from the prestigious UEFA Champions League, and far behind from Real Madrid in the race for the league title, the cúles are seeing how this season is going away without any major achievements being made. But that doesn’t mean that the season is completely lost.
Xavi Hernández, club legend and head coach, arrived with a simple goal. Create a strong foundation to bring back Barcelona to its core football and back to its golden days. And in he is in his way of doing just that. Although the team is still struggling in recent games, the Supercopa match against Real Madrid has shown the improvement of Xavi’s side. There is still a lot of ground to be covered, but Barcelona is going in the right direction. The team has also been given the signing of Spanish international Ferran Torres, an excellent attacker that is going to help the Blaugranas raise the level in the front of the starting eleven. Xavi has also recovered Ansu Fati and Pedri, two key players in the starting team that have been struggling with injuries in recent months. Also, with the consolidation of other young starlets like Nico and Gavi, the Catalan coach has a better and deeper selection of players to enhance the game of Barça.
With the Spanish league far from being fought, Xavi needs to capitalize in the niche competition of Barcelona, the Copa del Rey and put all of the team’s energy in the UEFA Europa League. Although Barcelona is used to being a clear candidate in the fight for the Champions League, their early elimination this year brings them to the second most important competition of Europe, but there can be a silver lining in that. If Xavi is able to win the Copa del Rey (a cup that Barça has risen five times in the last seven editions) and reach the final in the Europa League, even though losing the league to Madrid, the Blaugranas can count this season as a victory, especially seeing how they started it. The most important feat for Xavi has to be to guarantee the presence of Barcelona in the next edition of the Champions League and to create a team that can easily compete for the title in La Liga.
Barça is in a process of reconstruction after being the most feared team in all of Europe. Under the guidance of Pep Guardiola and later on Luis Enrique, Barcelona reached the top of football all around the world. But now, with those golden days behind and the team struggling to get by in recent years, Xavi, as he did as a player, is the right person to bring back the Blaugranas to the top tier of European football, and there is a big chance that he can do just that.