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‘Last month I was Ferguson, now I might be sacked’ – Xavi hits out at Barcelona critics


Barcelona coach Xavi has hit out at media criticism of his team, refuting suggestions his position is under threat after a difficult week for the Blaugrana.

Barca sit seven points adrift of surprise leaders Girona in LaLiga after their Catalan neighbours clinched a remarkable 4-2 win at the Blaugrana’s temporary Montjuic home last Sunday.

Xavi then received heavy criticism after his team were beaten 3-2 by Group H strugglers Royal Antwerp in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, though that defeat did not prevent Barca from progressing to the round of 16 as group winners.

It has since been reported that club president Joan Laporta intervened to ensure Ronald Araujo, Robert Lewandowski and Ilkay Gundogan were not rested for the trip to Belgium, despite Xavi initially opting to leave all three players out.

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Some have suggested Xavi might come under pressure if Barca’s poor run continues against Valencia at the Mestalla on Saturday, but the former midfielder insists that is not the case.

“The media are not united but it is time for us to be more united than ever,” he said at Friday’s pre-match press conference.

“Alarm bells always ring when things are not going well but we can still win four titles. I think they are generating a tension that is not necessary.

“I am getting messages as if it were a funeral, as if my mother or father had died. I was not congratulated when we finished top of our [Champions League] group.

“A month ago I was told I could be the Sir Alex Ferguson of Barcelona, now I might be sacked! Stability is what the club needs.

“We are a winning project and we cannot go into a deep depression every time there is a slump.

“I’m positive and very excited. We can still have a great season. Everything is at stake. I believe in the project and the players. The union is really strong.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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