past weekend, securing an easy 4-2 win against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid. With the likes of Dani Alves, yes Dani Alves, and a younger version of Xavi himself in the form of 17-year-old Gavi, Barca have a mix of incredible experience and youthful verve to propel them into the top four moving forward. Here is our match analysis of Barca's 4-2 win over Atletico, and Barcelona's attacking variety and balance throughout the match.
Barcelona have been on a deep, downward spiral ever since rumours of Messi's departure started to surface toward the end of the 2019-20 season. The La Liga giants have won just the 2020-21 Copa del Rey since the 2018-19 season, and now look destined to finish below a UEFA Champions League place this time around. Xavi Hernandez has come into the club to try and restore normality, but with the club floundering under uncertainty of poor budget planning and insufficient funds, Xavi's task appears to be a mammoth one. Barcelona sit in just sixth place at the moment, and they've had very few convincing performances since the former Barca legend arrived from Al Sadd. With young players not quite ready and old heads no longer at their best ruling the starting lineup, Xavi's ability to find consistency before the end of the season could be impossible. So with that, let's take a look at some of the tactics Xavi has deployed since taking over the helm at Camp Nou, and what needs to change if the legend is get his team back into the UEFA Champions League next season.
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Former Barcelona man Xavi Hernandez is widely considered one of the best midfielders of all time. In his hay-day with both Spain and Barcelona, Xavi formed one of the best midfield triads the game has ever seen, alongside Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets. He won twenty-five major trophies with Barcelona and three for Spain, before moving to Qatar ahead of the 2015-16 season. He then went on to finish his career in style, winning the Qatari league in his final season at the club in 2018-19. The very next season he was named manager of the squad and soon afterward completely revolutionized Al Saad into a near unstoppable unit in the QPL. The Spanish midfielder has quietly gone about his business at Al Sadd, playing in Guardiola-esque ways and doing del-Bosque-esque things, winning six trophies in two seasons so far. Barcelona are keeping a close eye on the now 41-year-old, and in time we may see one of the game greatest ever midfielders become one of the game's greatest ever managers. Here is a tactical analysis of Xavi Hernandez's Al Sadd.
La Pausa - Spanish for 'The Pause' is a fantastically useful skill for players looking to fool their opponents. La Pausa is a skill whereby players in possession pause on the ball, drawing in defenders and enticing them to make a movement toward the ball. After the defender makes a movement toward them, the player in possession will often quickly speed up play or then make their pass or movement in a direction that exploits the fact that the defender has approached them.