It seemed like a dream return, but now great fears are coming, slowly even panic. Barcelona are losing points and what’s worse, in most of the last games they are the worse team and not giving good performances at all. So a crucial week is coming for Xavi, according to the Spanish media.
Xavi seemed to have managed to consolidate Barcelona. After returning to Camp Nou as coach, he managed to take Culés from ninth place to second in the table, even winning the title the next season.
However, there was one catch. In both seasons, Xavi has already dropped out in the Champions League group stage, something that has only happened to the club once in the 21st century. So, for this edition, promotion was the clear goal, with Barcelona also handed a lottery ticket.
It awarded the Catalans to Porto, Shakhtar and Antwerp. In an extremely playable group, Barcelona confirmed its role as favourite and won the first three duels. All they had to do was beat Shakhtar in the Hamburg Asylum and they were assured of qualification. But they lost and the whole situation became even more complicated.
Now Barcelona has the same number of points as Porto (9), Shakhtar has 6. If the Blaugranas lose to the Portuguese today and Shakhtar beat Antwerp, Barcelona may not even need a win in the last round to advance.
Key week for Xavi
It’s not ideal in La Liga either. Barcelona lost again at the weekend, only pulling off at least a draw against Rayo Vallecano towards the end. The Blaugranas are currently only in fourth place behind Atlético Madrid, Girona and Real Madrid.
And according to the Spanish media, Xavi has a crucial week ahead of him. On Tuesday night he will challenge Porto, then Atlético Madrid at the weekend. Although the Catalan coach assured after the weekend draw that he feels the support of the management and the sporting director, there is speculation in Spain that the relationship of the sporting director Deco is not so positive towards Xavi.
And if Barcelona mess up qualification from the Champions League group stage for the third year in a row. it could have fatal consequences. Not just for the club, but for the coach. And if they lose to Atlético this weekend and Real manage to win their match by 3 points, Barcelona will be 7 points behind their rivals.
Source: AS Diario
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