Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has heaped praise on Xavi, revealing how the Spaniard uses his experience to improve his players. De Jong disclosed that the 2010 World Cup winner analysed footage from recent games to help his players make better decisions.
Xavi has done well in his first full season at Barcelona. Apart from the premature elimination from the Champions League and Europa League, the Barca legend has barely put a foot wrong.
Under him, the Blaugrana have opened up a nine-point lead over Real Madrid atop the La Liga standings. They are also in an advantageous position in the Copa del Rey, having secured a 1-0 win over Real Madrid in the semifinal first leg.
De Jong, who has been ever-present in Xavi’s XI this season, has lauded the manager, revealing how the coach helps his players. In an interview with TV3, De Jong said:
“Xavi is one of the best midfielders in history. It’s good to have him as a manager, and he helps us a lot. He shows us footage of recent matches and tell us where we can make better decisions.”
The Dutchman, who is admittedly more comfortable operating at the base of midfield, feels that Barcelona have played better this season. He added:
“I think that the team is playing better football compared to last year, so that helps me. I’m also playing at the base of midfield recently, and I feel more comfortable.”
While Barca have scored a handsome number of goals this season (47 in 25 games), it’s their defence that has helped them go top of the standings. They have conceded only eight goals in La Liga this season, 11 goals fewer than second-placed Real Madrid.
Barcelona starlet Pedri set to feature in La Liga clash against Real Madrid
Barcelona will welcome Real Madrid to Camp Nou for a mouth-watering tussle on Sunday (March 19) night. A win this weekend could all but seal the La Liga title.
With their sights set on the clash at Camp Nou, Barca have received a major injury boost. Star midfielder Pedri, who has been out of action since injuring his hamstring in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in February, is expected to be fit for Sunday’s El Clasico.
The midfielder completed part of the Thursday (March 16) training session with the team, proving his fitness ahead of the game. It will be interesting to see if Xavi deploys him from the start or brings him on as an impact sub.