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Barcelona’s Xavi condemns anti-Laporta chants: We’re family

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Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández condemned the chanting against club president Joan Laporta during Sunday’s 3-0 win over Rayo Vallecano at the Olympic Stadium.

A small section of supporters chanted “Barça yes, Laporta no” during the game, although other parts of the stadium began to whistle in response to the anti-Laporta singing in the second half.

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The chants came at the end of a week in which sources told ESPN that Laporta was once again considering Xavi’s future at the club just three weeks after they announced in a joint news conference that the coach would fulfil his contract, which runs until 2025.

“To be totally honest, I didn’t like it,” Xavi told reporters when asked about the shouts against Laporta. “It’s not nice for me. What I want is union and that the family [club] is good, but it’s the fans who decide. I don’t like it when someone is singled out.”

Xavi’s remarks in midweek that the club could not compete financially with Real Madrid were what annoyed Laporta, although sources also told ESPN that the president has never fully backed the coach.

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However, Xavi has continued to downplay the fallout, insisting that “nothing has changed” from his point of view and that he has the “hunger and ambition” to lead the team into next season.

Laporta, for his part, has not spoken in public in recent days, while the fans present at Sunday’s game regularly sung Xavi’s name.

“I feel appreciation from the fans, but I didn’t like the chants against the president,” Xavi added. “We have to be united. Three weeks ago we spoke about being united and taking this project forward and that is still the case.”

On the pitch, Barça sealed second place in LaLiga and a place in next season’s Spanish Supercopa on Sunday by beating Rayo, with Robert Lewandowski opening the scoring and Pedri adding a brace off the bench in the second half.

“We took second place, which was the main goal in the last month, so I am very happy and satisfied with the performance of the players,” Xavi said in an interview with ESPN after the game.

“We played well. We conceded too much in defence, it’s true. They created chances, but we did well. Second place is with us now and we have to be happy and rest well now.”

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Barça still have one more game to come, away at Sevilla next weekend, before the curtains come down on a trophy-less season, although Xavi still attempted to find some positives.

“We didn’t do a good season, of course, that is the reality, but at least we competed,” he added. “We were so close to winning trophies and we will try again next season. And the best news from this season is [the youngsters]: [Pau] Cubarsí, Lamine Yamal, when we recover Pedri fully, Hector Fort, Marc Guiu.

“This generation is the best news from this season.”



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