€50m Barcelona player’s altercation with Xavi led to his exile against Girona


MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 21: Xavi, Head Coach of FC Barcelona, gives the team instructions during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 21, 2024 in Madrid, Spain.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

A lot of issues have plagued FC Barcelona this season, many of them being internal ones. The Catalan giants have been far from their best, and it is clear to see that. However, new updates and reports continue to come up, and they paint even worse images of Barcelona and their problems.

Prior to the victories against Real Sociedad and Almeria came the disheartening loss against Girona. During the defeat to their Catalan neighbors, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez opted to make use of a fourth midfielder rather than sticking to using two conventional wingers, and this raised some eyebrows.

Now, fast forward to later, an update from Catalan journalist Gerard Romero reveals much more about the behind-the-scenes of that particular decision. Apparently, that decision to bench Brazilian winger Raphinha and play Fermin Lopez instead came due to an altercation that took place in the 4-2 victory against Valencia a few days prior to the Girona game.

After being substituted in the 66th minute, Raphinha ended up returning to the bench in frustrated fashion. Reportedly, however, he did not just stop at being physically frustrated at the situation.

Instead, he decided to take things one step further and ended up insulting Oscar Hernandez, Xavi Hernandez’s brother and assistant.

As a consequence, the words of the Barcelona head coach were reported as such: “Calm down, you won’t play against Girona now.”

Actions have consequences, and if this is the case as Romero states it to be, not playing against Girona was the consequence of Raphinha’s insubordination against Valencia.

However, that also ends up acting as an example of how things can end up being at Barcelona, and the fact that it must be corrected as soon as possible to get the team on the same wavelength.

While Raphinha did end up coming on the field to play against Girona in the second half, he had to wait to start again when Barça played Real Sociedad.

The winger ended up scoring a late penalty in that game, while also showcasing sympathy towards his home state of Rio Grande do Sul, and has since seemingly returned to Xavi’s good books.

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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