Barcelona F.C. managed to score 7 goals against a weak Osasuna, Messi scored a hat-trick, and Xavi showed improvements on his form.
The truth is that Barcelona is going through a time of transition, critics and fans need to understand that some of the players that were crucial to the past success, are now older and their form is no longer the same. Carles Puyol announced he will retire at the end of the current season, but it seemed as if he retired years ago since his injuries have left him out of the fields for the most part.
Xavi has been plagued with injuries as well but has recovered some of his best form lately, his passing hasn’t been as accurate as usual, and his ability to create space for the forwards hasn’t been great. The talented midfielder has struggled to keep up for the whole 90 minutes, along with Iniesta, Xavi’s age has made him a slower and less effective player when it comes to making crucial through passes. Although, Iniesta is only 29 years-old he seems like he has lost some of his stamina and his effectiveness when it comes to defining games.
Although these two talented players, Xavi and Iniesta, have aged it does not mean that their careers are over. These two players are just in a bit of a transitional slump and is not just them, is the whole squad. Their peak form has now passed and their physical form is struggling to adapt to their new roles as players. Both of this players are still magnificent and still have a lot to give, especially Iniesta, but they peaked three years ago.
Can Barcelona win the derby coming up next week against Real Madrid?
The doubts are there, clearly the team is struggling to adapt to the new plan that the new coach, Martino, is trying to implement. Critics need to realize that the players that were key when Barcelona was the best team in the world, are no longer capable of performing at their best because of their age. The answer for the question is no, because the way this team is playing right now does not show superiority over Real Madrid. The “Merengues” are in their best form in years, they have finally established themselves as a counter-attacking team, and their wings are too strong and powerful to stop by the Barcelona defense.
With all this said, Barcelona has the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, and many other players that can individually change the outcome of any game, like Neymar, Iniesta (on the first half) and Alexis. Barcelona winning the match is not surprising because we still see flashes of great passing, the possession game will still be Barcelona’s, and Real Madrid’s has always feared Messi, who in many occasions had made Sergio Ramos and Pepe look like amateurs.
Are Xavi and Iniesta at the end of their careers?
Who will be victorious on Sunday?