Xavi Upholds Barcelona’s Youth Policy Out of Necessity

Xavi Upholds Barcelona’s Youth Policy Out of Necessity


In the aftermath of Barcelona’s friendly match against Club América in Dallas, coach Xavi Hernández shed light on the significant presence of youth academy players in the lineup. The coach emphasized that promoting talent from the club’s youth ranks has become a strategic necessity due to economic constraints. In an era where financial considerations play a pivotal role, Xavi defended Barcelona’s commitment to nurturing young talent, providing insights into the challenges and opportunities posed by the club’s current situation.

Youth Integration in the Squad

Xavi addressed the media, explaining the rationale behind fielding numerous academy players in the friendly encounter. He acknowledged that some players might be deemed too young based on their age, but highlighted the unique circumstances necessitating their inclusion in the first team. “There are players who, by age, might not be ready, but they are in the first team. At 16, 17, 18, 19 years old, it might be too early for them; it’s a lot of responsibility. But it’s what we have to do due to the economic situation of the club. This situation forces us to adapt, and it’s something that adds to us as an entity,” Xavi stated in post-match comments to TUDN.

Xavi acknowledged the impact of the current economic landscape on Barcelona’s decision-making process, emphasizing the need to adapt and find strategic solutions to navigate financial challenges. Despite the potential risks associated with young players, Xavi expressed confidence that integrating them into the first team is a valuable aspect of the club’s identity.

Development under Rafa Márquez

Xavi credited former Barcelona player Rafa Márquez for his role in nurturing young talents within the club. He highlighted that the friendly match against Club América provided an opportunity to reward deserving youngsters with playing time. “Rafa Márquez is doing a great job with the young players. We took advantage of this match to give opportunities because they deserve them. It was an open match with many chances, and the fans must have enjoyed it. For us, it’s a pleasure to be in the United States,” said Xavi.

Rotations and Player Management

The coach justified the rotations made during the friendly, citing the demanding schedule as a contributing factor. With the team having played against Almería shortly before, Xavi explained that fatigue among the regular starters influenced the decision to give some players fewer minutes on the pitch. He emphasized the importance of managing player workload, especially in the context of a tight schedule.

Analysis of the Match

Reflecting on the match against Club América, Xavi acknowledged the entertaining nature of the game. Both teams provided spectacle, creating numerous chances and scoring goals, resulting in an enjoyable experience for the spectators. Xavi praised Club América as a formidable opponent, describing them as a “very good team, intense, technically well-endowed, and disciplined in ball possession.” He predicted a bright future for André Jardine’s squad, recognizing their potential for success.

Youth Debuts

Notably, Xavi handed starts to several young players in the friendly, providing them with valuable exposure at the senior level. Ander Astarlaga (19), Pau Cubarsí (16), and Gerard Martín (21) made appearances in the starting lineup, while Diego Kochen (17) had his debut in the second half, replacing Astarlaga. Other youth players, including Marc Casadó, Héctor Fort, and Unai, also featured in the match, showcasing Barcelona’s commitment to developing and integrating young talent into the first team.