FC Barcelona won the Supercopa with a convincing 3:1 victory over Real Madrid. The first title was under Xavi, who played a big part in it according to his captain.
Sergio Busquets’ relief and joy were visible after the final whistle. The well-deserved and convincing 3:1 against Real Madrid meant FC Barcelona’s first title since winning the Copa del Rey in 2020/21 – and the first under coach Xavi. For Busquets, who once won trophy after trophy with Xavi as his sidekick, this is a credit to the coach: “At Barça, we are always asked to win. Since Xavi has been here, he has made us aware of that.”
Xavi’s influence on and off the pitch
Thus, he says, the club icon has brought about change at the Catalans. “We have made a change. In the club and the dressing room,” Busquets told “Movistar TV” – which is why his team went into the final with a clear attitude: “We knew this was an opportunity we had to take advantage of.” The fact that this then succeeded was an important confirmation, he said. “It will confirm the idea of continuing to grow and fight for more trophies.”
But not only mentally, but also tactically Xavi had a decisive part in the triumph in Riyadh for organiser Busquets: “The plan to strengthen the centre of the pitch worked very well. Without the ball, the team stood in a very compact block, leaving the wings to Madrid.” It was there that another decision by the 2010 Spanish World Cup winner had worked, calling up Ronald Araujo to play at right-back in place of Jules Koundé. “Ronald was very good at stopping the counter-attacks and Vinicius Junior,” praised Busquets.
Matchwinner Gavi “at an incredible level”
Alongside Araujo and Xavi, youngster Gavi also earned special praise. At 18, the reigning Golden Boy became the decisive man on the pitch, scoring the first goal himself and setting up the other two. “He’s super young, at this point most players are still playing in junior teams,” began the 34-year-old Busquets, elaborating: “He’s at an incredible level, goals, assists, he has a brilliant future ahead of him, but he can also improve a lot of things.” To do that, the super-talented player should “listen to everything and learn more”. Then he could become “a player who shapes an era at Barça”.
Xavi could also possibly shape an era at the Blaugrana. With the Supercopa 2023, he has now won his first title as coach at his favourite club, and more are to follow. The next Copa del Rey title will be up for grabs on Thursday (8 pm). Barça is a clear favourite to win at third-division side AD Ceuta FC.