Barcelona yet to replace key figure in sports performance department five months on

Presidential rival Victor Font has called on Joan Laporta to professionalize the structure at Barcelona for some time, but joining the exits of directors and key figures in the hierarchy, now numbering over 30 since the start of Laporta’s mandate, they are yet to replace a key figure in the first team staff.

Since Laia Vinaixa left in January to join former Sporting Director Ramon Planes in Saudi Arabia at Al-Ittihad, the Blaugrana have not brought in a psychologist to work with the players. Vinaixa had been working with the first team until last summer, and was then moved to Barca Atletic.

However Diario AS say that she performed a key role not just with the first team until last summer, but also with the young players coming through into the senior side, of which there have been plenty of late – Gavi and Alejandro Balde are noted as examples of players who have benefitted from Vinaixa’s work.

In spite of Xavi Hernandez intimating that they should bring in a replacement for Vinaixa, but no replacement arrived. The club felt that most players had external help in that regard, and decided it wasn’t necessary.

It remains to be seen whether new coach Hansi Flick will request a psychologist be brought in. These days most top clubs will have a psychologist on hand for players to use, while the majority of coaches at Barcelona have made use of one. None more so than Luis Enrique, who is tailed most of the day by psychologist Joaquin Valdes.

How much impact it has, or has had, is impossible to measure, but it seems a bizarre topic to buck the trend on. Xavi frequently spoke about improving Barcelona’s mental strength, and in recent years, it has been one of the areas they have been criticised for most.

Tags Alejandro Balde Barcelona Gavi Laia Vinaixa
La Liga - Club News