Xavi Hernández is one of those people who always see a glass as half full rather than half empty. His recalcitrant optimism has helped him overcome very difficult moments in his career -especially during four years (2000/04) of absolute drought of titles and permanent institutional earthquake-.
Now it has been his turn to make use of that positivism again to take forward a group decimated by injuries, emotionally sunk for poor results and no self-confidence.
In just two months, Xavi has managed to reverse this pessimism, which had been installed since the arrival of Quique Setién, and turn a group of disbelieving players into a solid block, with clear ideas and a splendid future.
This Wednesday against Real Madrid Barcelona was seen wanting to claim back, playing head-to-head against “the best team in Spain at the moment”, as Xavi himself recalled in the previous game, and putting Ancelotti’s men in a lot of trouble to get the game forward.
As soon as the game is over, Xavi appeared at a press conference to get the chest out of his team, despite the defeat. “We have competed against Real and we have been superior in many minutes”, was one of his most commented phrases of his appearance before the media.
Well, as AS has learned, inside the dressing room he was even more explicit and forceful in his statements.
Before speaking with his men, the coach had already received congratulations from Joan Laporta himself, who was very “proud” of the team and of the team’s staging against Real Madrid, forcing him to play an extension and ask for the time in the final minutes, asphyxiated by the Blaugrana pressure.
“It was a shame, because we have had them in our hands. We have competed at the highest level and we have deserved to pass. We have removed all fears and complexes, we have been superior to Real Madrid. Think that we have had them against the ropes, they were suffering, they were having a hard time, it is clear that we have returned and We can now compete face to face with anyone,” Xavi harangued his pupils.
In any case, and despite the coach’s words of encouragement, the atmosphere was not one to shoot rockets either, since the team was physically destroyed, after a titanic effort of 120 minutes, which in the end had not served to qualify them for the final of the Super Cup.
After these words, Xavi made a aside with some players, and this is where he was also a little tougher and more demanding, especially in some defensive errors that ended up costing more than one goal against.
In any case, the general conclusion is that Barcelona, despite the defeat, had taken another step forward on its long road to rebuilding. San Mamés, the next station.