Barcelona legend Xavi says the club have been “sleeping” through a period which has seen the path from La Masia to the first team dry up.
Xavi was chief playmaker in a Barca side that swept all before them, while remaining strongly rooted in Catalan ideals, coached by Pep Guardiola and captained by Carles Puyol, with the likes of Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Victor Valdes providing more home-grown heroes.
Luis Enrique’s reign continued Barca’s trophy glut, including a treble in the Asturian’s first campaign at Camp Nou, but he was often criticised for moving Barca away from the ideals that had been put in place by Guardiola – including the use of youth-team players.
Barca have brought La Masia graduate Gerard Deulofeu back to the club this off-season, having done likewise with Denis Suarez a year ago and Xavi says the club needs a fresh approach throughout the youth system – which has recently been taken over by ‘Dream Team’ duo Guillermo Amor and Jose Mari Bakero.
“In general Barcelona have been sleeping,” Xavi told The Tactical Room. “They have to boost the ‘Cantera’ and their model of play.
“Young players have to learn this form of play so that when they arrive in the first team they already have the concepts properly learned.
“The ‘Cantera’ coaches have to make players, they have to teach them. You have to form them from the youngest ages. If you win, great, but that’s not the objective.”
Xavi is more impressed with the appointment of Ernesto Valverde, however, hailing another ‘Dream Team’ member’s arrival as a sign of Barca returning to their roots.
“I like the bet on Valverde,” said the former skipper. “He’s a prepared type, he has experience, he knows the club. He has lived the style and will do well. His arrival prompts a return to the orthodox style.”
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