Barcelona midfielder calls for unity as new coach looks set to arrive


HAMBURG, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: İlkay Gündoğan of FC Barcelona warms up during a traing session of FC Barcelona at Volksparkstadion on November 06, 2023 in Hamburg, Germany.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The next challenge up ahead for FC Barcelona will be to accommodate their new head coach. Xavi Hernandez is already departing, and Barça already have an alternative replacement lined up. Sooner rather than later, it is expected that Hansi Flick will be the man to take over at Barcelona and replace Xavi.

Ahead of his official appointment, several Barcelona players and associates attended the Globe Soccer Awards. Over there, some of them even picked up awards and such, highlighting a positive season for them and concluding it with a physical representation acknowledging their efforts.

One of the Barcelona players present there was Ilkay Gundogan. The German star, formerly from Manchester City, had a solid debut season at Barcelona and got the plaudits for it.

Moreover, as highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, he was asked to analyze the season as well as comment on how the new coach would be able to change the dynamic at the club next season:

“We must stick together as a team and try to reach our potential because we have great potential and quality, but we need to apply it on the field and learn from our mistakes from last season.”

Despite not saying Hansi Flick’s name, Gundogan managed to talk about the appointment of a ‘new coach’ and what it means for Barcelona:

“We have a new coach, so it seems many things will change…. We must adapt in the best way and as quickly as possible because we don’t have much time to prepare for the new season due to the Euro Cup.”

The Barcelona midfielder was also asked to comment on the promising youngsters in the team, something he talked about with great joy:

“There are many (laughs). This is part of Barcelona’s DNA: the development of players from La Masia, especially this season, Lamine, Cubarsí, and Fort, who performed wonderfully and took on responsibilities at a young age.”

“They are 16/17 years old but play at a very high level and will improve even more in the coming seasons. We are lucky to have these players in our team.”

He further added:

“They have great talent and potential, so they just need to learn from me through experience because I have gone through many experiences and dealt with ups and downs, so I try to teach them how to handle them.”

However, despite the difficulties of the season as a whole, the Barcelona star says it was an interesting campaign for him:

“I think it was a season full of emotional and physical ups and downs. But I got to know the league, my childhood dream club, and new teammates. I also learned a lot and enjoyed the experience immensely.”

Lastly, he also made sure to give credit to departing Barcelona coach Xavi, who also happened to be one of his childhood idols:

“Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta… because I grew up watching the legendary Barcelona team. It was an honor for me to work with Xavi last season.”

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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