The president spoke with the coach but not the Barcelona players
The first minutes after Barcelona’s clash with Inter Milan in the presidential box were very tense. Joan Laporta and the directors were furious. They have made a big effort this summer to build a competitive squad. But advised by those close to him, the president preferred not to act impulsively and calmed down before heading down to the dressing room.
There he met with Xavi Hernandez and his brother Oscar Hernandez, and Sergio Alegre to find out the causes of the failure. The president consoled the coach and his assistants and then discussed the team’s situation with them.
There was a lot of worry about finding out how the players will react, with the Clasico on Sunday.
Laporta keeps believing in Xavi as the coach and thinks it’s him who has to take the right decisions to revert the situation. Beyond the economic disaster of being knocked out of the Champions League, the president is worried about the performance of the squad in La Liga too as Barcelona are now basically obliged to win it.
Pique and Busquets’ errors came after the captains refused to reduce their salary as hinted at by Laporta in the assembly, creating more discontent among the board. They hope Xavi is arable of taking the right measures ahead of the clash with Madrid. Given the importance of the game and the absences, they don’t think it’s the right moment to experiment with B team players but alternatives within the squad.
But the conclusion of the meeting was clear. It’s all in Xavi’s hands. He’s the coach and he has to decide. Laporta and the directors want an immediate reaction that is seen on Sunday at the Bernabeu. Note, the president has not spoken to the players. It was not the right moment.