Xavi: Barca expecting ’emotional’ Camp Nou farewell


Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has mentioned it is not going to be simple to play video games away from Spotify Camp Nou subsequent season because the membership put together to say a short lived farewell to their iconic stadium.

Work on revamping the 99,000-seater floor will start after Sunday’s remaining dwelling recreation of the season in opposition to Mallorca, with Barca pressured to relocate to the 50,000 capability Olympic Stadium within the Montjuic space of the town till November 2024.

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Barca wrapped up a primary LaLiga title since 2019 earlier this month, however Xavi mentioned shifting stadiums will signify a unique problem subsequent yr and known as on the supporters to again the staff greater than ever.

“Sunday will be an emotional and sad day because we are saying goodbye to what has been our home for many years,” Xavi mentioned in a information convention on Saturday.

“Camp Nou feels like my home. But it is for a good cause, to have an even better stadium where the fans will feel even better. It’s for a common good.

“My feeling is it will not be simple in Montjuic. We have to maneuver to a brand new floor and we are going to want the followers with us. That ambiance that is been generated since I’ve been in cost, we are going to want that in Montjuic. The followers have to know that we’re going to want them so much there.”

On the flip side, Xavi hopes the emotion of saying farewell to Camp Nou in its current guise — in addition to the departures of Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, who will play their final home matches for the club this weekend — will help the team put in a good performance following back-to-back defeats in LaLiga since clinching the title.

“It’s not been simple to seek out motivation after successful the title, however we now have it on Sunday as a result of we need to say goodbye to Camp Nou in the very best manner,” the Barca coach added.

“We need to honour so a few years of historical past, emotion, ardour and unbelievable matches. And it is also an opportunity to say farewell to Busquets and Alba. That is all further motivation for the sport.”

Busquets announced earlier this month that he will not renew his contract with the club when it expires in June, while Alba said this week he has also reached an agreement to depart in the summer, despite having a contract until 2024.

Xavi said Barca are well equipped to deal with the loss of Alba at left-back, but called on the club to invest in a replacement in Busquets.

“If we need to compete effectively subsequent season, it is important to have his function within the staff crammed,” he said. “For me, as a coach, that place is key.

“Busquets has been vital in what we have achieved this year, winning the Super Cup and LaLiga. So, we are going to have to find a really important player to replace him, both on and off the pitch. For me, that is the key to next season.”

Busquets and Alba turn into the most recent members of Barca’s golden technology to depart. Gerard Pique retired final November, and Dani Alves, after a quick second spell again on the membership, left final summer time following the exits lately of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi himself, amongst others.

Xavi, who left in 2015 earlier than returning because the coach in 2021, mentioned the toughest a part of his job has been how you can deal with these pre-existing relationships.

“One of the most difficult things has been managing friendships and having to tell them they are not playing,” he mentioned of the generational probability which has been carried out at Barca in the previous couple of years.

“At the end of the day, I am the Barcelona coach and I have to make these decisions, but that doesn’t mean they are not painful. It happened with Davi Alves, Pique… [but] I have to prioritise the club and be professional.

“They usually are not private selections, they’re soccer selections. Now it’s Jordi and Busi, who truly made these selections themselves, however we are going to miss them. They have been captains and references for his or her teammates.”


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