International Soccer

Barcelona players in agreement over key issue of Xavi tenure

Despite having left Camp Nou last month, Xavi continues to face substantial criticism, with reports not scrutinising his alleged failure to work on his players’ physical fitness during his time at the helm.

A tumultuous final year with Barcelona saw Xavi relieved of his duties with one game of the season left to play, with president Joan Laporta openly admitting he had grown concerned by the team’s physical decline after the 60-minute mark of matches.

Now, a report from MARCA has shed light on the players’ opinions regarding their physical preparations for the 2024/25 campaign, claiming that many believe they were not given enough conditioning work under Xavi.

“Here in Barcelona you train for an hour and then go home,” a source inside the Blaugrana camp is quoted as saying.

All of that is poised to shift dramatically, however, with the arrival of new manager Hansi Flick. The German intends to overhaul the support staff and is bringing a renowned fitness expert to help restore the players to peak physical condition.

Hansi Flick

Flick will take Xavi’s place / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

“Flick will improve the physical preparation,” Laporta said. “To do this he will adapt to the club’s structure, a trainer will come in and they are designing it.

“We saw that in the 60th minute the team’s level dropped, they didn’t finish the game in the same way, like in the two games against Real Madrid, who came back in the last few minutes.

“We ask Flick to win, he takes a more experienced team, he will be able to prepare them physically, without giving up our style, but with more physical preparation to play with two touches and recover the ball quickly.”

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