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FOOTBALL Xavi doesn’t start his motorcycle

I see Xavi as those who many years ago tried to start the bike over and over again, kicking the starter pedal. Old bikes that were slow to respon


I see Xavi as those who many years ago tried to start the bike over and over again, kicking the starter pedal. Old bikes that were slow to respond. Sometimes the kick had no effect at all; other times, it produced a promising fart that the struggling man tried to feed with jerks to the accelerator, but soon died. Insisting, insisting, in the end it started, flooding the environment with smoke and noise and the owner got on happily and disappeared down the street in search of the bride. This is how I represent Xavi at Barça, kicking the starter pedal over and over again, with promising feints that soon cease.

It seemed reckless to me that Xavi accepted the assignment, but he did it out of culé patriotism and an absolute conviction in the Barça model, a style of play cultivated from the quarry. With this model, Barça recently achieved resounding successes and was at the forefront of football. But that model was served, under the hand of Guardiola, by the management of Xavi and Iniesta and we scattered them from Messi. And with the contribution of another eight, four of which still remain but are not the same. Time has passed for them. The formula is the same, but the ingredients are not. Xavi is colliding with reality but he has no choice but to insist.

LaLiga is gone, the Super Cup is gone, the Cup is gone. The Europa League and the minimum objective remain, fourth place in LaLiga, which is closer now than with Koeman. It is less than what Xavi and the world expected when it arrived, but the recipe is not a magic wand. A good model served by players too old or too young, by disenchanted Dutch (bringing coaches and players of that nationality is the other fixation) and by some intractable capricious like Dembélé, is not the same. So we had to lower the speech, be patient and admit that yes, this will be a year of transition.