Injured stars, Gundogan’s criticisms, and El Clasico discussed in recent Barcelona training by Xavi

Xavi Hernandez during the training session before the UEFA Champions League match against Royal Antwerp FC, in Barcelona, on 18th Septemnber 2023.
Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

FC Barcelona have reached a point in their season that requires complete concentration from them. No more unnecessary lapses or failures can be tolerated given the current league standings. Still not quite at the halfway mark yet, Barcelona will remain cautious as they hope to build on from here rather than slow down.

The recent El Clasico defeat was a significant wake-up call for Barcelona. Despite the depth and quality that they possess, the Catalan giants will need to remain on their toes. Both the loss and other important topics were even discussed by Xavi Hernandez recently with the team.

Wednesday training

As highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona recently conducted a group training session. As it was scheduled for Wednesday, it took place on that day. Almost the entirety of the first team was present except for Sergi Roberto and Frenkie De Jong.

One of the primary topics that Xavi discussed during the session was the El Clasico itself. Undoubtedly a hard loss for the team, it is still a game that the coaches and players have to critically analyze.

Addressing the Clasico

Addressing it in that light, Xavi allowed his players to interact and engage regarding what went wrong. The exact details are private in the locker room, but the coach’s address is something regular during the training sessions after any game.

Updates on Pedri and De Jong

However, there were also other things to look out for during this training session. With several injured players returning or still recovering, eager Barça fans kept an eye on the players that showed up for training. One of the main absentees turned out to be 26-year-old Barcelona captain Frenkie De Jong.

The Dutchman’s absence is a particularly sour topic for Barcelona. The less involved he remains in training due to his injury, the more the chances are of him not featuring against Real Sociedad.

However, another formerly injured Barcelona midfielder seems to be progressing quite positively and looks determined to feature in San Sebastian.

Pedri completed the entirety of the group training session this time around. The young Canary Islander remains determined to return to action as soon as possible. His involvement in training is great news for Barça and Xavi, who will hope that he is soon fit enough to play entire games for the Catalan giants.

Injured back in August during a training session, Barcelona have eagerly awaited Pedri’s return. Similarly, De Jong also remains a priority recovery for Barça. His injury came as a result of a collision in the game against Celta Vigo for Barcelona.

Gundogan’s words

Another key topic that Xavi reportedly discussed was Ilkay Gundogan’s recent criticism of the locker room. The German midfielder’s words may have been harsh, but many within the club consider them to have been crucial. With the clash against Real Sociedad not far away, Barcelona need to make use of their ‘wake-up call’ as soon as possible.

Missing youngsters

Lastly, there was also the aspect of the regular youngsters from the subsidiary missing from training. Marc Guiu, Hector Fort, and Pau Cubarsi were all missing and only Marc Casado trained under Xavi. This is due to the fact that those young gems are currently with the Spanish National team setup.

Soon, they will travel with the Under-17 Spanish side to Indonesia in order to compete for the FIFA World Cup of the same age category. This opportunity could provide them with an entirely new pathway to develop and hone their skills moving forward.

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