Former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta told ESPN that his former team “has the team to win the title”. classic And the League, “despite a turbulent start to the season that left them in seventh place in the league table and the bottom of their group in the Champions League.
Barcelona beat Valencia 3-1 in La Liga, Sunday, to be two points behind rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, and five points behind leaders Real Sociedad, before hosting. eggs in a classic At Camp Nou this weekend.
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The team drew their support from the return of injury-hit Ansu Fati – who scored and won a penalty against Valencia – and Sergio Aguero, as well as youth performances like Gavi.
“I think Barcelona fans are always optimistic, and even more so for me classicIniesta told ESPN: “They are looking forward to the game, their team is playing well and winning.
Barcelona has the team to win classic And the League. I hope they play well and get the three points.”
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was subjected to severe pressure after the team began its Champions League campaign with a 3-0 victory at home to Bayern Munich, followed by two draws in La Liga with Granada and Cadiz.
An embarrassing 3-0 loss to Benfica put Koeman on edge, before president Joan Laporta opted to back the coach after, according to ESPN sources, he failed to find a suitable replacement.
“As an ex-Barcelona player, it’s hard for me to analyze it, because you often hear things outside that are not really true,” Iniesta told ESPN. “If I were inside, I could talk a lot more about that.
“From here, looking at the past few years, it is not easy. New players, young players, players from other places, other players left. It is never easy. We all have to trust that they will end up following the right streak.”
Iniesta said Koeman has done “many things” well and that he “has not arrived in an easy moment for him or the club”.
The coach has put his faith in Barcelona’s domestic talent in recent weeks, with Fati, 18, and Gavi, 17, joined by 19-year-old Nico Gonzalez and 18-year-old Yusuf Demir in the squad.
Iniesta, now 37 and playing for Japanese side Vissel Kobe, compared the situation when he made his debut in 2003 – when Barcelona were in crisis on and off the field after four years without a trophy – and warned that a lot of pressure should be necessary. Do not put on this new generation.
“When I was promoted to the first team, it was difficult,” said Iniesta. “I say to the young people coming to take advantage of this opportunity.
“We have to appreciate the faith that is shown in these young people…The only thing we should not do is think that 17-18 year olds can be the answer during these times.
“We cannot put the responsibility on them to carry the team. They have to accompany the team little by little, gain fame and become important.”