Xavi’s blessed ‘problem’

On at 09:11


The display against Betis of all the forwards will make it difficult for them to make the lineups

In addition, he may be forced to retouch his drawing with four midfielders

“This is life. When you have direct competition you give your best. That happened to me, when they signed someone in my position I had to perform. If you have good competition you have to give 110%. Today they scored four and Lamine scored “A great game. The competition is wonderful for the team, it’s perfect.” And Xavi Hernández is more right than a saint.

That’s why he always asked for two players per position and for both to be undisputed. It is undeniable that Barça 2023-24 has made an important leap in quality in all its lines, especially up front, and that playing regularly will become increasingly more expensive.

Given this situation, the biggest problem (blessed problem!) will be the Barça coach, who will have to manage the starting positions and minutes of all his forwards very well. A few months ago everyone assumed that the starting couple would undoubtedly be the one formed by Lewandowski and Dembélé. But with the Frenchman’s escape the doors of heaven were opened to Raphinha, who was only able to enjoy that privilege against Getafe.

His two-game suspension was not the hardest thing for him but the consequence that arose from it.. His condemnation was the stellar appearance of Lamine Yamal, who took over the right wing of Barça’s attack at the age of 16 with superb performances. and demonstrating a personality and maturity inappropriate for his age.

Ferran Torres in the match against Betis

| Valenti Enrich

But neither Ferran Torres, a tireless worker and with an iron mentality to overcome adversity, lowered his arms. Yesterday Xavi chose him to play on the right and he had a very good game. He played with determination, confidence and looked several times for the connection with Joao Félix and Lewandowski. He was generous in attack and defense and crowned his performance with a great goal from a free kick. He left applauded by the audience.

Raphinha is not one to give up easily either. His substitution may be explained because he was the last to arrive (he was with Brazil) but he will not settle for being a mere troupe. The Brazilian is a competitive player who wants to play almost always. And he will make it difficult for Xavi. Against Betis he scored a great goal with a magnificent shot from the edge of the area and in all his actions he sought to do damage.

Time to alternate drawing

The arrival of Joao Félix at the last moment of the market It opens Xavi the possibility of retouching his usual drawing with four midfielders. He opted for this system to have more consistency as a team and greater balance, but perhaps the time has come to alternate this approach with another that is a little more offensive.

Joao Félix, in his debut at the Estadi


Recover the most classic 4-3-3, with a pure forward, although Joao Félix is ​​more of a hybrid between midfielder and attacker. The Portuguese played a great game yesterday. He scored a great goal, he invented an assist for Lewandowski in the second without touching the ball and in all his actions he showed that he is a special, talented footballer.

In Xavi’s Barça, Joan Félix can be decisive starting from that position between winger and interior, or at times midfielder. Against Betis he felt very comfortable and it was his second game, his first as a starter. With time, he still has to go further.

But in addition, when Lamine Yamal came on, this time to play on the left, he also offered great minutes. On Tuesday the team debuts in the Champions League against Royal Antwerp and no one knows for sure who will play on the right of the attack and if Barça will do so with three pure forwards or four midfielders.

That is a blessing for the team and a small ‘problem’ for Xavi, who will have to choose between forwards who have proven to have quality beyond any doubt, who are sweet in the scoring aspect and who show an impeccable attitude on the field.