Xavi highlights what Barcelona must do to overcome Real Madrid


BARCELONA, SPAIN - DEC 3: Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona (R) during the Spanish "La Liga" league football match between FC Barcelona vs Atletico de Madrid at the Lluis Companys stadium in Barcelona, Spain on December 3, 2023.
Photo by Adria Puig/Anadolu via Getty Images

The upcoming clash for FC Barcelona will be one that decides the first title of the season. Real Madrid awaits Xavi’s side in the Final of the Spanish Super Cup in Riyadh. However, rather than being intimidated or fearful, this Barcelona side seems confident about their own chances of victory.

Raphinha may have become the latest casualty in the last game against Osasuna, but he was just one negative in a storm of positives. As they prepare for Sunday’s El Clasico, Barcelona will hope to be at their very best level once the encounter against their greatest rivals kicks off.

For Xavi, as SPORT highlights, there are already a few great examples and references that showcase what he needs to do. Two of those references are the Spanish Super Cup triumph of last year and the Clasico of the La Liga this season.

While the latter ended in a loss (1-2), it was still mostly a game dominated by La Blaugrana. As such, Xavi believes that he already knows what his team must do:

“We must try to bring them into our own style of play. They are stronger than last year, but we must impose our game, possess the ball, and dominate the match.”

Moreover, the Barcelona coach is also clear about other aspects of the game. In terms of his defensive approach and limiting Real Madrid, he believes that mistakes have to be avoided:

“Being assertive in defense, avoiding mistakes, and not giving the opponent any chances.”

However, he is also aware of Carlo Ancelotti’s strengths. Highlighting Jude Bellingham’s influence and how Barcelona can counter Los Blancos, the coach stated:

“They have changed their system, playing without a traditional striker, using Bellingham as an attacking midfielder in a kind of diamond formation. That’s why it will be crucial to take away their possession and showcase our identity more than ever.”

The Barcelona coach also made sure to emphasize the importance of Pedri. Once he returned to the field, things definitely became much easier for Barcelona to control:

“With him on the field, everything becomes clearer. He doesn’t lose balls, comes to retrieve them, and provides ball distribution. He embodies the style we want to play.”

Talking about a possible ‘midfield four’, Xavi made sure to comment that it is a formation that he does not rule out:

“I don’t rule out the four midfielders… (it allows us to) control the game and impose our personality.”

Now, all that is left to do is prepare and tactically assess their opponents from Madrid. The Spanish Super Cup revitalized Barça’s season last year, and Xavi’s team will be hoping that a victory in Riyadh could do the same for them.

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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