Home FOOTBALL NEWS Barcelona coach Xavi: No issues with Gündogan's Clásico rant

Barcelona coach Xavi: No issues with Gündogan’s Clásico rant

Xavi Hernández said he agrees with Ilkay Gündogan after the midfielder slammed Barcelona for not showing enough anger or emotion after last week’s El Clásico defeat to Real Madrid.

Gündogan’s comments have drawn headlines in Spain and beyond, but Barça coach Xavi said they had not created any controversy among the playing squad.

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“Conforming is not part of Barcelona’s DNA,” Xavi said in a news conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Real Sociedad in LaLiga. “There is a demand for excellence and to win here.

“Gündogan’s interview was spoken about within the dressing room, he clarified what he meant and there is no problem. No one has to tell us what the demands are at Barça — especially me having spent my whole life at the club.

“We agree with Gündogan and don’t see any controversy. We lost El Clásico because we made mistakes. There was a lack of concentration and we disconnected.

“He expressed the anger we all felt. I could have said it or someone else, but he did because his culture is perhaps different to ours.

“If you see the defeat Bayern [Munich] suffered the other day, the captain came out, [Thomas] Müller, and said something similar. It is cultural.

“There has been no controversy generated in our dressing room. We think the same as Gündogan. This is Barça. That’s the level of demand and excellence here. That is how it is.”

Two Jude Bellingham goals cancelled out Gündogan’s opener in El Clásico and the former Manchester City player said he wished for more “frustration and more anger” from his teammates after the loss.

“This is a little bit the problem,” he told LaLiga TV. “There has to be more emotion, especially when you lose and when you know you can perform better, do better in certain situations and you just don’t react.”

Barça travel to fifth-placed Real Sociedad this weekend as they look to get back to winning ways after slipping four points behind joint leaders Madrid and Girona.

Frenkie de Jong and Sergi Roberto are still injured, but midfielder Pedri returns for the game after two months out, with Xavi urging his players to learn from their El Clásico defeat.

“The feeling is of anger [after losing],” he added. “We had the game controlled and were playing well. We lost a game we had in our hands.

“But nothing is lost yet and at least it was not a Champions League knockout game. We can learn, we are only four points off the top and there is time to make up for our errors.

“Now we have a real high-level test on Saturday against a Champions League-level opponent. La Real do things well in defence, attack and they play with intensity.

“Imanol [Alguacil] is one of the best coaches in the league. He has his side playing good football but, after losing to Madrid, the team stepped up in training this week. Now we have show that we can react.”

Meanwhile, UEFA announced the dismissal of an appeal by Barça against a €500,000 ($536,000) fine for breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

“FC Barcelona was fined €500,000 for wrongly reporting, in the financial year 2022, profits on disposal of intangible assets [other than player transfers] which are not a relevant income under the regulations,” UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body said.

Several high-profile European clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Inter Milan, who agreed settlements with UEFA in September last year, have fulfilled targets set for the financial year 2022.

Information from Reuters was included in this report.

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