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Last season gave a glimmer of hope to Barcelona and Xavi Hernandez for a resurgence, as the club secured both the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga title. However, the defending Spanish champions’ form plummeted this season. In December 2023, when Barcelona settled for a diminishing draw against Valencia, Xavi disappointingly said, “We must be one of the worst teams in Europe in terms of effectiveness.” 

Aggravating Xavi’s woes, Blaugrana took a 4-1 beating against Real Madrid to lose the Super Cup to their arch-rivals. Former Real Madrid boss Fabio Capello recently gave his verdict on Xavi’s struggles. And he held Barca’s superstar striker Robert Lewandowski responsible for the team’s lackluster run.

During Fabio Capello’s recent conversation with Marca, the interviewer asked him why Xavi faces so much criticism, despite winning the La Liga last year. “That always happens. Lewandowski is failing him[Xavi] a little bit, he is not the same as last year, and that is important. Xavi’s main problem at Barcelona is that he is missing Lewandowski, who is not playing at the level we know him to be at,” said Capello (translated by DeepL). The Italian manager added that Lewandowski is not a striker like Erling Haaland who improves every year, thanks to his youthfulness.

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Capello’s claim about the Polish man being Xavi’s only problem sounds a bit far-fetched. But the former Bayern Munich striker has indeed seen a drop in his form lately. Lewa, the Polish goal machine, has been seizing the top goal scorer’s prize without competition for the last few years. This time, he not only fell short of Cristiano Ronaldo and others but even failed to come anywhere close to 2023’s prolific goalhunters. In the ongoing season, he has scored just 12 goals in 27 matches across competitions. In light of the Pole’s struggles, Barcelona is reportedly willing to let go of the player, if he ever wants to leave.

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Barcelona won’t offload Robert Lewandowski but okay with the idea of a departure

Robert Lewandowski’s Barcelona contract runs till 2026. And so, the Catalan club won’t sell the player. However, Joan Laporta is fine with the player finding another comfortable or lucrative haven. Saudi clubs have already tried to lure the veteran with their deep pockets. They will do that again. And Barca won’t have a say in whatever decision Lewandowski is going to take. Furthermore, Bluagrana’s signing of Brazilian prodigy Vitor Roque can be seen as a move to compensate for Lewa’s misfiring.

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It is not just the 35-year-old’s scoring prowess that has plummeted. He went from being a vocal leader to a frustrated veteran who gives the hairdryer treatment to youngsters. The Pole’s rant at teenager Lamine Yamal for not passing him the ball had gone viral. And so, even if Lewa is not Xavi’s only problem, he surely is a part of the problem.

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Written by

Krishna Prasad M

980Articles

One take at a time

My journey as a sports aficionado was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed me, as I fell in love with the beautiful game. From cheering on Real Madrid to channeling an inner analyst with my pals during every other World Cup and kicking the ball timelessly, soccer is now a therapy for me with boundless conversations.
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Edited by

Jayant Chhabra