Joan Laporta urges Barcelona fans to continue to ‘believe and support’ boss Xavi ahead of the El Clasico showdown against Real Madrid, despite potential Champions League exit looming
- Barcelona club president Joan Laporta offered his backing to head coach Xavi
- The Catalan giants face the prospect of an exit from the Champions League
- Xavi’s side are currently sitting top of the LaLiga ahead of upcoming El Clasico
Barcelona club president Joan Laporta has offered his full backing to head coach Xavi ahead of the El Clasico.
The Catalan giants face the prospect of being knocked out of the Champions League group stage for a second straight campaign after Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Inter Milan at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona are however top of the LaLiga at present heading into a vital clash against main title rivals Real Madrid on Sunday evening.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta (left) has offered his full backing to head coach Xavi (right)
Barcelona remain unbeaten in the LaLiga, despite a potential Champions League exit looming
They remain unbeaten in domestic action, therefore Laporta has called for solidarity, and a reminder of Xavi’s positive impact on the club in the last 12 months.
‘I would tell the fans to keep believing. We have a very good team that has to give us joy. They [the fans] have to support Xavi, and we will give that support to him,’ Laporta told Spanish newspaper outlet Marca.
‘Xavi has shown that he is a man who knows the club and the system perfectly, apart from being an excellent person. Things will get better, and he will give us many successes.
Laporta has called for solidarity, and a reminder of Xavi’s positive impact on the club already
‘We always talk. After the game I have a habit of talking to him. [After Wednesday’s game] I saw him sad and hurt.
‘Xavi has a virtue that no one I’ve met has — he always sees the positive side. It’s something I’ve always liked.
‘I told him to move forward, not to think about the Champions League and focus on LaLiga.’
Laporta admitted that he had great expectations for Barca’s Champions League campaign after the club’s significant investment in the summer transfer window.
‘I didn’t expect to be like this at this point,’ Laporta said. ‘The technical staff and the coach have done everything to be competitive.
‘The main aim is LaLiga as the group stage has become very complicated, but I prefer to speak when it is over.’
Barcelona sit third in their Champions League group – and if Inter beat pointless Viktoria Plzen in their next game then they’ll be dumped out before they even play Bayern Munich
Laporta is also adamant that the club will continue to spend in the upcoming winter transfer market, despite having to sell several of their assets to fund their most recent spending spree.
Laporta, currently serving his second term at the club, is adamant that his side can work towards further strengthening the team, adding to the likes of recent acquisitions Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde.
‘We are working on the market,’ Laporta told Barca TV. ‘We have had talks with the coaching staff and we intend to improve the squad, which is already very powerful but can still improve more.
Barca spent heavily in the summer on new signings including Robert Lewandowski (right)
‘We are working with the coach, with the technical secretariat and the director of football for this winter market.
‘We have been analysing things for some time and the team will be improved if we have the chance to do so.’
The club’s recent signings have had an impact on a squad that was filled with aged stars far beyond their best, and many who were not good enough to justify the exorbitant financial burden they placed on the club.
Much of the initial work in the summer was centred on casting aside this dead wood, moving on the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Miralem Pjanic, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho.
But while the work to right the ship has paid clear dividends in the league, Barca are now on the verge of an early exit from the Champions League, with just one win from four games.