‘No excuses’ – Xavi Hernandez gives speech to Barcelona players and cancels training ahead of Real Madrid

Updated: 13:13 18/04/24

Barcelona are perhaps looking at a rather somber six games the other side of El Clasico if they cannot beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night. Morale has deflated at Barcelona following their Champions League exit to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, and while it would keep a title race in the realms of possibility, reducing the gap to five points between the two, it would also prove a point.

It is perhaps Xavi Hernandez‘s last chance to do so, and Diario AS report that he gave a speech to his players before their Thursday morning training session. ‘Let’s go after Madrid – no excuses’ was the loud message he conveyed to his players in a chat that lasted around five minutes. Xavi is keen to pick his players up, fearing that the PSG defeat could be a disaster for his side mentally, and presented the Clasico to them as an opportunity.

It also preceded a change of schedule. Xavi and the coaching staff, upon detecting that the players were not in the right mindset to work well, cancelled the training session on Thursday, with a view to a reset for his players.

If Xavi can make up that difference in morale, then Barcelona should have the fitness over Los Blancos, who traveled away to Manchester City for 120 exhausting minutes, with a day’s less rest. However that gap will not be easy to fill, as Real Madrid play with house money to certain extent, and the boost of making it through to the semi-finals of the Champions League. Their last meeting saw Real Madrid impose their will on Barcelona, beating them 4-1 in the Spanish Supercup in January.


Image via REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

Tags Barcelona El Clasico Real Madrid Xavi Hernandez
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