Laporta transfers the focus of attention to Xavi

Laporta transfers the focus of attention to Xavi

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A disappointing draw revealed the fragile balance system at Barça, which shifts the focus of responsibilities to Xavi that the previous season focused on its president, Joan Laporta. The balance tips towards the coach after a boisterous summer of signings, multimillion-dollar rights sales and endless speculation that has not yet ended. There are 15 days left until the market closes. The most indebted club in the world intends to add new and very expensive players – Bernardo Silva, in particular – to its current luxurious squad. Nothing to do with the hardship of last year.

Laporta has bridged that kilometric distance with the signing of Lewandowski, Raphinha, Koundé (153 million between the three), in addition to the arrival of Christensen and Kessié, at no cost in the acquisitions. The renewal of Dembélé confirms that playing in this Barça is more appealing than in the previous edition.

Frenkie de Jong must think something similar. His dispute has a marked economic nature – the Dutch player wants to collect the money that appears in the renewal contract he signed with the previous president, Josep María Bartomeu, and at the club they now tell him that more greens have reaped them -, but he offers another interesting aspect. The catastrophic start of Manchester United in the Premier League has a dissuasive character in the star market. No one wants to get crushed by the blender from Old Trafford.

De Jong, under terrible pressure in recent weeks, has added more value to his position. His price rises —as a result of Manchester United’s declining state of health—, but the insipid Barça game offers him unbeatable prospects. He plays for a club that has built a powerful squad and will play in the Champions League, but he still stumbles in the shadows. Against Rayo, De Jong played the second half. There was no whistle. He benefited from the general bewilderment.

Whatever the opinion about Laporta’s strategy to obtain income – the sale of various rights of the club for a value close to 800 million euros – the president can claim that the coach has a squad that lives up to what is expect from Barca. He has passed the ball to Xavi. President and coach have changed their situation with respect to November 2021.

Laporta went to Xavi after keeping Koeman. He dismissed him on matchday 11. Barça was in ninth position and the omens could not be worse. He began to doubt whether he would achieve the priority objective, to finish in the top four of the championship to access the Champions League. With the coach fired, the last dyke capable of sustaining Laporta was Xavi Hernández. That, or an uncontrollable social outburst.

The derby with Espanyol inaugurated Xavi’s journey. Barça won (1-0) with a line-up that included Mingueza —now at Celta—, Nico González (Valencia) and a 17-year-old winger: Ilias Akhomach. On the bench, Riqui Puig (LA Galaxy), Abde and Yusuf Demir (Rapid Vienna). All three played in the second half. It was the least promising team in the world. Xavi fulfilled his part and led Barça to second place in the championship. During half of the League, the position of the president depended on the skill of Xavi. In a way, he remembered his relationship with Pep Guardiola after the motion of censure.

This is no longer the case. Laporta has given Xavi the resources he needs. The team looks much better than the financial situation of the club. It’s up to Xavi to direct it to a good port. All eyes have turned in the Camp Nou: from the box to the bench. Xavi has finished his brief period as de facto president.

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