Can Xavi inspire Barcelona's next generation?
It would be an understatement to say that Barcelona has been having all kinds of problems recently. Their financial issues have been well documented and attendances have been down on many previous seasons. The club's inability to keep Lionel Messi (and the later sacking of manager Ronald Koeman) further highlighted these problems.
The appointment of another former legend as manager has raised the spirits of fans. Their famed academy can also have an impact on the club's fortunes going forward. Are Barcelona's next generation of players going to be inspired by another legend at the Nou Camp?
Can Barca cause a shock and win the Champions League?
New manager bounce can have an impact on a team's results and performances. Some players and football experts would argue that a new manager can spur a team and potentially allow talented players to spring into action. Saying that, it would be a shock if they won Europe's premier competition.
The Champions League odds from Betfair placed the club as an outsider to win the competition. They perhaps lack the star quality of previous seasons and are certainly nowhere near as stable on and off the pitch. Going back a few years, Barcelona being such distant odds (47/1) to win the competition would have been unthinkable.
Some UEFA Champions League betting tips might place them as a team that could reach the Quarter Finals but not much further. However, should Xavi get this team playing and with some experienced players such as Busquets and Pique around to lead by example, they could still be a threat against most teams.
Prospects to watch out for?
Predicting players that will go on to have long and distinguished careers can often be a difficult task. Even with someone like Messi. Whilst many predicted he would become a talented player for Barcelona, very few envisioned the kind of career that he's ending up having.
Pedri has already made several appearances for his club and the Spanish national team. Some already believe that he can potentially have a career like his current manager and his former midfield partner Andrés Iniesta.
Ansu Fati is another highly thought of Spanish player. At the start of the 2021/2022 season, he scored 3 goals in 5 matches. Following the departures of Messi, Suarez and Griezmann, he will be relied upon to score a high percentage of the goals for the rest of this season.
Can Xavi replicate the success of his former manager?
Before Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola in 2008, they were again a team struggling. Whilst the issues were nowhere near as severe, Guardiola certainly had his work cut out to take the club back to the top in Spain and across the continent. Players such as Ronaldinho, who had been the cornerstone to previous success, were sold. The team was built around a certain Argentinan and the rest they say is history.
Will Xavi have a similar impact and eventually lead Barcelona once again to Champions League glory? Perhaps those issues off the pitch will hinder the club's progress for the foreseeable future.