Barcelona boss Xavi has vowed to remain loyal to the footballing philosophies put in place at Camp Nou by legendary former player and coach Johan Cruyff, with the Blaugrana not about to alter their DNA on the back of one bad result.
The Liga giants crashed out of the Europa League in their most recent outing, as they suffered a shock 3-2 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt in the second leg of their continental quarter-final clash.
Questions have been asked of whether Barca need to master the art of grinding out results, rather than always look to mix substance with style, but Xavi sees no reason to tinker with a system that has delivered countless major honours in the last 30 years.
- Rice explains what he wants to improve despite superb West Ham form - ‘I should be hitting 10 goals a season’
- Spurs close to sealing £50m Richarlison transfer with Everton forward set to undergo medical
- Lukaku on loan for €8m - Transfer market master Marotta has done it again!
- Sporting, Benfica and now Estoril! Introducing Portugal's newest talent factory
Will Barcelona change their ways?
Ahead of a domestic outing against Cadiz on Monday in which Barca will look to shake frustration in European competition from their system, Xavi has said when asked if he will change his ways: “With this style, we have won five Champions Leagues. Johan Cruyff created it. It has borne fruit and results.
“We have to improve, but not lurch. We have to believe, correct and improve. We will not change our DNA because of losing a game or a title.”
Can Barcelona still win the Liga title in 2021-22?
While one avenue to success has been closed off for Barca in the Europa League, an upturn in fortune under Xavi’s guidance has lifted them back into second spot in the Liga table.
They remain 12 points adrift of Clasico rivals Real Madrid, but do boast a game in hand on the Blancos and have eight fixtures left to take in.
Nobody at Camp Nou is throwing in a title towel just yet, as improbable as ultimate success may be, with the plan being to take things one game at a time as a list of collective targets is slowly ticked off.
“We focus on what we can do and then we will look at our rivals,” Xavi, who was appointed as successor to Ronald Koeman in November 2021, added.
“We have to work with humility. First, qualification for the Champions League and if that gives us the chance to compete in the league, even better.
“We wanted to win a title, and we're still fighting for the league, we're there, although it's complicated.
“I'm proud of how the players competed on Thursday, but we didn't play well. I've shown them our mistakes.”
Xavi has seen Barca emerge victorious in 17 of the 30 games he has overseen as boss, with a club legend from his playing days helping to rekindle confidence in Catalunya that a brighter future lies ahead.