Xavi’s anguish | Soccer | Sports

What do we do now with the Champions League jester? Xavi Hernández asked himself this Tuesday. Midnight was falling and Barça had just beaten Naples. With a waste of good football, the feeling of danger continually in the opposing area, a vertical and fast game, with dizzying transitions. An unprecedented Barça this season, why fool ourselves. For the enjoyment of Montjuic, which was finally a boiler. A reborn Barça, whose team celebrated the victory and the passage to the quarterfinals with the understandable joy of one who sees the season slipping away, suffers every drop of sweat on the field and digests the pressure of being an elite athlete as best he can. A Barça led by a coach who postponed his resignation more than a month ago and who is holding up as best he can (some days better than others) while summer arrives.

That was when the resentment got the better of him and he began to appear in the press room minutes after the end of the match. Revenge is served on a cold plate, they say. How long had Xavi been ruminating and harping (and harping) on ​​that chronicle of a soccer match that his team lost against Shakhtar and that almost left him, once again, making a mistake in the Europa League. The one that this newspaper titled: Barça is the jester of Europe. And in which the author, Ramon Besa, spoke about Barça as an institution and already reviewed in his first paragraph other historic defeats on Champions League nights, when it was other coaches, such as Ernesto Valverde or Quique Setién, who endured the downpour. But Xavi, in a sign of absolute weakness, assumed that the jester was just him. And he took the adjective as the worst of insults.

The outburst of the Barça coach still in front of the press this Tuesday denotes a certain inability to deal with anger, with defeat. And also with victory. Accumulating all that bad drool since last November and vomiting it up the day you achieve the most important victory of the season says a lot about the doubts and fears that must have been floating around in your head for a long time.

Xavi’s anguish is moving. Not even on the day when he can get his chest out of the team’s game, he is not able to talk about football without charging bills. It is also striking that he dares to use Ramon Besa, a reference in national journalism, honored in Catalonia, and one of the best interpreters of the reality of Barcelona, ​​the team’s game and the state of mind of the entity. He has not understood one thing Xavi: journalists are not palmeros (or they should not be). Sports writers are there to interpret what happens on the field and in the offices and explain it to readers as best as possible. No matter how much they “follow Barça”, as the coach said, even if “they are from Barça, in theory” – as the former soccer player also pointed out –, they owe it to their profession rather than to their team, to their newspaper rather than to their friendships or personal relationships.

The criticism, on the other hand, is not unfair, Xavi. She knows it is unfair when one suffers from it. And that goes both ways, by the way.

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