There is a belief among Barcelona fans that the third golden era of the trophy-winning Catalan club will begin on November 20 this year. Right or wrong, that date will forever be written like the one when Xavi Hernandez made his debut as the coach of the giant from Camp Nou.
His first opponent will be city rival Espanyol. He could not have imagined the more ideal debut of the once very successful Barcelona football player.
The first two golden generations are well known. Behind the first is the signature of Johan Cruyff, behind the second Pep Guardiola.
Xavi was a youngster when the legendary Dutchman left the club, but that is why he was with Guardiola from the beginning to the end of his "reign" Many will tell you, without the amazing midfielder, Guardiola would not be what he is now.
After the departure of Lionel Messi, the club, as expected, fell into a crisis. The results are below expectations, which is why the coach was replaced. Xavi now has the task of passing on everything he learned from Guardiola and during his independent coaching career in Qatar's Al Sadd to the young men from the Nou Camp, led by Gavi, Balde, Fati, Demir, Gonzalez, Garcia…
No one expects change overnight, but the Catalans need new energy.
Currently ninth in the table and the same number of points as the eleventh-placed Espanyol (17) can be considered the lowest point for the famous club. The bottom from which you can now only go up. In the championship, there is no victory in four consecutive games for Barca.
In the Champions League, they have already received slaps from Bayern and Benfica, so on Tuesday, they will probably play the decisive match for the passage to the eighth-finals against the Portuguese club. Bearing in mind the importance of the duel with Benfica, Xavi must calculate against Espanyol.
A large number of injured players also make his job difficult. Fati, Pedri, Aguero, Dembele, and Braithwaite are certainly not in the competition, while Dest and Gonzalez are also in question. Dani Alves doesn't have the right to perform yet.
Espanyol is helped by the fact that Xavi did not have time to present his ideas in detail to his newly chosen ones. However, they do not have a spectacular away balance (three draws and defeats each), and the city rival is led by one of his trademarks, Xavi achieved the most victories during his playing career against Espanyol and it could be said that he won it out of habit.