Xavi gives his two cents on controversial former Barcelona winger

Date:

SANT JOAN DESPI, SPAIN - APRIL 15: Head Coach Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona faces the media during a press conference ahead of their UEFA Champions league Quarter Final 2nd leg match against Paris Saint Germain at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on April 15, 2024 in Sant Joan Despi, Spain.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Even for FC Barcelona, meeting familiar faces is a normality when it comes to the football pitch. A lot of the former players from the Catalan club are now dispersed all across Europe, and often come up against La Blaugrana. However, whether it be Barcelona or not, a level of respect is expected for the former homes of any player.

In the first leg of the Champions League encounter against Paris Saint-Germain over in France, Barcelona were reunited with Ousmane Dembele. Once the pride of Xavi Hernandez as his most prized winger, Dembele has since left Barcelona to play for PSG.

However, despite all the respect and admiration he received during Xavi’s time as the coach, the Frenchman did little to repay that generosity.

After scoring to level the game at 1-1 in the Parc des Princes, the French winger celebrated with great joy. While the expression of one’s joy is no sin, it simply did not sit right with many of those who follow Barcelona. However, at least for Xavi Hernandez, the player should not be mistreated at the Montjuic Stadium.

As highlighted by SPORT, Xavi spoke about Dembele in his press conference and stated that he has no issues with the player and that he should be allowed to celebrate however he wishes to:

“I greeted him before the match, but we haven’t spoken further. He approached me before the game, but I was busy. Let the people show what they feel.”

He also spoke about his departure in the summer, and the Barcelona coach admitted that it was not the ideal scenario:

“I felt bad about it; He was in an extraordinary moment. I don’t hold any grudges; tomorrow I will greet him, as I did in Paris. With respect, I appreciate him.”

However, the Barcelona head coach was adamant that the club’s own fans must make the Montjuic a fortress. PSG will cause them problems, but the team needs the support of their fans:

“Tomorrow has to be a cauldron. There will be tough moments. We have to be a team: fans and players. It will change, yes, of course. The setting won’t be the same.”

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