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Xavi given vote of confidence by Barcelona president Joan Laporta

Xavi given vote of confidence by Barcelona president Joan Laporta

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has insisted that Xavi “has everyone’s trust”, with the Spaniard’s position as head coach of the club not in doubt.

The Catalan outfit have been impressive in La Liga this season, winning seven of their eight matches, remaining unbeaten in the process, while they have scored 20 times and conceded just once.

Barcelona sit top of the table, albeit level on points with Real Madrid, ahead of Sunday’s El Clasico at Bernabeu.

The club are facing the prospect of failing to qualify for the knockout round of the Champions League for the second season in a row, though, following Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Inter Milan.

Barcelona sit third in Group C, three points behind third-placed Inter, who would qualify for the last-16 alongside Bayern Munich if they beat Viktoria Plzen at home next time out.

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele celebrates scoring against Inter Milan on October 12, 2022© Reuters

There have been suggestions that Xavi’s role as head coach is in doubt due to the team’s European struggles, but he has been given a vote of confidence by Laporta.

“I still have the same confidence in the team and the coaching staff. It’s a team under construction, we know we have to change things,” Laporta told Barca TV.

“This squad can compete against the big European clubs. It is necessary to adjust the team with the new players. The league is our goal. Let’s go all out for the league.

“Xavi has everyone’s trust, he’s a great coach, and I’m convinced he will improve and give us a lot of success. I always speak to Xavi in his office after games. I saw him sad and upset, but he has a virtue. When we are in a complicated situation he always sees the positive side.

“I want to say to the fans that I want them to continue believing that we have a very competitive team and that it will give us a lot of joy. The fans have to support Xavi. Xavi needs it.”

Barcelona boss Xavi on August 13, 2022© Reuters

Barcelona will be looking to bounce back from the draw with Inter by beating Real Madrid this weekend, and Laporta has said that El Clasico provides a “great opportunity” to respond.

“It is a great opportunity for this team at the Bernabeu after Wednesday’s result. It’s fun to go and play at the Bernabeu. It’s one of those games that’s fun to play, I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in some great Barca games,” said the president.

“El Clasico is always very important, we have a better system. I hope to be the leader at the end of the game. You will also see the team’s ability to answer, when you fall down the most important thing is to get up.”

Laporta also confirmed that Jules Kounde is set to return to the squad, with the centre-back pictured back in training this week after recovering from a hamstring issue.

“Kounde will travel to Madrid with the group,” he added.

The Frenchman could potentially replace Gerard Pique at the heart of the defence on Sunday, but Andreas Christensen, Hector Bellerin, Ronald Araujo and Memphis Depay are still on the sidelines through injury.

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