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Xavi promises return to Barca values at official presentation

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Barcelona, Nov 9 (IANS) Xavi Hernandez promised hard work and discipline in his official presentation as the new coach of FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou Stadium.

More than 9,500 fans were in the stands of the Camp Nou Stadium on Monday night to watch the 41-year-old return to the club where he spent 17 years as a player, leading arguably the most successful period in Barca’s history.

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Xavi helped mark an era as a player and was one of the architects of Barca’s famous passing style, but he now returns with the club in crisis and with debts of over 1.3 billion euros limiting their options in the transfer market.

Barca are currently ninth in La Liga, 11 points behind league leaders Real Sociedad and 10 behind eternal rivals Real Madrid, with injuries to key players not helping dressing room confidence, reports Xinhua. “My idea is to help the players. I understand that Barca is difficult,” said Xavi, who said the “psychological issue is very hard and we are going to help them on a personal level. It is not about being tough. It’s about helping and working as a team,” he added.

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However, the former player also said he would be demanding hard-work from his squad. “Barca is about winning. We have to work very hard and demand a lot of ourselves to get results.”

Although he insisted that it was a “long-term” project, Xavi said he would start on his plans immediately. “My idea is to help to recover players and form a team, so that we are a family and all rowing in the same direction. We want people to take on the ideas quickly so we can compete with Espanyol,” who will be Barca’s first rivals after the international break on November 20.

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He also discussed his style of play, saying it would look to recapture some of Barca’s traditional virtues.

“We want to pressure high up the field and not wait and see what happens. We want to be aggressive and to go on the attack. I don’t think I’m giving anything away, because this is what has made us great. We have to attack. We are Barca and we have to win,” commented Xavi.

–IANS

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