FC Barcelona Survivors Of 2016 Near Collapse Warn Youngsters Not To Get Complacent With La Liga Points Lead

FC Barcelona’s survivors of a near collapse in 2015-2016 have warned the youngsters of the team not to get complacent when it comes to the current La Liga title race, according to locker room sources.

The Blaugrana currently boast an eight point lead over bitter rivals Real Madrid after they beat Sevilla 3-0 following Los Blancos’ 1-0 upset loss to Mallorca on Sunday.

They are also on course to make history with just the third ever 100-point campaign after 17 wins, two draws, and a single loss handed them 53 points after 20 matchdays played.

According to Mundo Deportivo, however, the veterans who suffered a close scare in 2015-2016 – namely Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Sergi Roberto – plus head coach Xavi Hernandez, have warned the youngsters of the squad on the cusp of winning their first Spanish top flight title not to get complacent.

Though Xavi had already headed to Qatar by then in semi-retirement, the mentioned campaign under Luis Enrique saw Barca 12 points clear of Madrid by Matchday 29.

After drawing 2-2 away at Villarreal – who they face on Sunday – on Matchday 30, though, Madrid beat them 2-1 at Camp Nou on Matchday 31.

Further defeats followed against Real Sociedad (1-0) and Valencia (1-2) on Matchdays 32 and 33, while Madrid picked up wins at the expense of Sevilla and Eibar – who they beat 4-0 – plus Getafe – who they hammered 5-1 away – in addition to the Barca win.

This meant that Madrid came within a point of Barca, who eventually managed to win the league by the same margin with 91 points to 90.

Yet with difficult fixtures ahead such as another Clasico against Madrid on March 19, plus away trips to Rayo Vallecano and Espanyol who they drew against already this term, Barca cannot take their foot off the gas.

Other meetings against the likes of Real Sociedad, Real Betis, and Atletico Madrid lie ahead as well, and with the Catalans also hit by injuries and simultaneously competing in the Copa del Rey and Europa League, slip ups may happen.

Accepting that the “euphoria” around Barca’s improved lot is fine, legendary midfielder Xavi, who saw it all as a player, urged calm after the Sevilla rout and stressed that his team are merely a ‘candidate’ and not the favorites for the title.

“The favorite continues to be Real Madrid, who are the current champions of La Liga and the Champions League,” Xavi said, though he did encourage his squad by claiming they have “the capacity to win all the titles that we have left” to compete for.

This is the right attitude to take, and keeps young feet for whom this their first rodeo – those of Pedri, Gavi, and Alejandro Balde – on the ground until the job is done.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomsanderson/2023/02/08/fc-barcelona-survivors-of-2016-near-collapse-warn-youngsters-not-to-get-complacent-with-la-liga-points-lead/