Barcelona head coach Xavi says “life is above football” after his side’s LaLiga clash with Cadiz was temporarily suspended due to a supporter suffering a cardiac arrest.
The visitors were two goals up with nine minutes to go at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla when play was halted and the players were taken off the field due to the medical emergency.
Goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma was seen passing a defibrillator into the stands prior to the concerned players making their way down the tunnel.
Cadiz released a statement later on Saturday confirming the fan in question had been stabilised and taken to the nearby Puerta del Mar Hospital.
A camera operator also fainted in a separate incident and was quickly treated by the stadium’s medical staff.
Once play resumed after a 40-minute delay, Barca added to goals from Frenkie de Jong and Robert Lewandowski through Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele.
While ultimately pleased to see his side maintain their positive start to the campaign, Xavi was quick to put the result into some perspective.
“It was an eventful situation,” he told Movistar. “Some said a supporter had fallen from the stands, others that it was a heart attack.
“If there had been a misfortune of any sort, we would have stopped the game. We are talking about a human life and that is above football.
“Luckily no misfortune has happened and we have been able to play football.
“In the end it was a matter of humanity, with human qualities coming out. Between all of us, we have tried to add and we hope it will turn out well for the person involved.”
Today, there were more important things than football. pic.twitter.com/MMwjN6KzLD
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 10, 2022
Barca’s victory was their first against Cadiz in five attempts, having drawn two and lost two of their past four encounters in a run stretching back to April 2006.
The Catalans have now won four and drawn one of their first five LaLiga matches in what is Xavi’s first full campaign in charge, conceding just once in the process.
Across the past 36 years, only in the 2014-15 season have Barca conceded fewer goals at this stage of a league season.
Reflecting on a fifth win in a row in all competitions for his side, Xavi said: “It’s an important win at a difficult ground. We hadn’t won here for two seasons.
“We created chances and we dominated. The three points were very important to stay at the top of the table.
“Sometimes we need to understand the last pass better, but I’m happy despite having not played an excellent game.”
With a Champions League showdown against Bayern Munich to come on Tuesday, Fati, Lewandowski and Dembele were named among the substitutes versus Cadiz.
Asked if that upcoming match impacted his selection decision, Xavi said: “Even if we didn’t have Bayern next week, we’d have played with the same eleven.
“We have a very large squad and those who participated today played very well. This will be a regular dynamic this season when we play every three days.”
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