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Barcelona scouts called Xavi ‘average’ in six different aspects of the game at age 14

Barcelona scouts called potential new boss Xavi ‘average’ in six different aspects of the game at age 14, but drew parallels with Pep Guardiola

  • Scouting report on 14-year-old Xavi described as lacking in speed and balance
  • Xavi ‘runs on his heels and his movements are slow,’ said the Barcelona scouts
  • Report praised the passing and excellent sense of positioning of the then adolescent
  • Xavi won 25 trophies and made 767 games for Barcelona in 17 seasons
  • The 41-year-old is expected to replace Ronald Koeman on the Camp Nou bench


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Xavi may have established himself as one of Barcelona’s all-time greats, but there was a time when the Catalan giants weren’t particularly optimistic about the future of their young midfielder.

The 41-year-old, who reportedly agreed to replace Ronald Koeman on the Camp Nou bench after the Dutchman was fired on Thursday, established himself as one of the best midfielders in football history in 17 trophy-laden seasons with him. Blaugrana.

Xavi played 767 games in all competitions for Barcelona, ​​scoring 85 goals and winning 25 major trophies, including four Champions League titles and eight LaLiga titles.

Xavi retired as one of Barcelona's all-time greats after winning 25 trophies in 17 seasons

Xavi retired as one of Barcelona’s all-time greats after winning 25 trophies in 17 seasons

However, a scouting report on 14-year-old Xavi did not foresee such a brilliant career.

In fact, scouts from Barcelona described the then-teenager as ‘average’ in various aspects of his game, including speed, balance and strength.

The report, which appears in Cristian Martin’s book ‘La Masia: Developing People Beyond Sport’ at the legendary Barcelona academy, has appeared on the pages of the popular Spanish sports newspaper. Mark and it makes for an interesting read.

Barcelona scouts were not particularly impressed with Xavi’s physical attributes, describing him as a player who “runs on his heels, his movements are slow and he has trouble gaining speed.”

14-year-old Xavi's report card describes him as 'average' in various aspects of the game

14-year-old Xavi's report card describes him as 'average' in various aspects of the game

14-year-old Xavi’s report card describes him as ‘average’ in various aspects of the game

Barcelona scouts felt that Xavi was seriously lacking in athleticism and speed.

Barcelona scouts felt that Xavi was seriously lacking in athleticism and speed.

Barcelona scouts felt that Xavi was seriously lacking in athleticism and speed.

His balance and flexibility were also considered average, with scouts suggesting that the latter in particular needed “a lot of work.”

Also, although Xavi’s coordination was good, “their movements are correct, but they lack speed” and he “has to improve his agility and speed of movement.”

Overall, there were six different aspects of the game in which Xavi was considered average.

However, the 2010 World Cup winner was considered to be in good physical shape, “has everything a good midfielder should have” and good muscular endurance.

Along with Andrés Iniesta (left) and Leo Messi, Xavi was part of a dominant Barcelona

Along with Andrés Iniesta (left) and Leo Messi, Xavi was part of a dominant Barcelona

Along with Andrés Iniesta (left) and Leo Messi, Xavi was part of a dominant Barcelona

The midfielder won four Champions League crowns with the Blaugrana in 17 seasons

The midfielder won four Champions League crowns with the Blaugrana in 17 seasons

The midfielder won four Champions League crowns with the Blaugrana in 17 seasons

He also won LaLiga eight times, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 with Spain.

He also won LaLiga eight times, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 with Spain.

He also won LaLiga eight times, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 with Spain.

While the report may seem too negative in some respects, it was also particularly prescient, as the Barcelona master never made physicality and speed his calling card, instead dictating games with his passing.

In that sense, the scouts were much more impressed with what they saw of the 14-year-old.

Xavi, the report says, showed excellent control and very good passing and ball control.

‘Compensates for his lack of speed in movement with exceptional ball control […] He should improve with his left foot, but that is his great strength on the field […] He makes good sense to protect the ball, he hardly ever loses it. ”

The 41-year-old is expected to replace Ronald Koeman as Barcelona coach this week.

The 41-year-old is expected to replace Ronald Koeman as Barcelona coach this week.

The 41-year-old is expected to replace Ronald Koeman as Barcelona coach this week.

The report was even more brilliant when it came to Xavi’s’ excellent ‘positioning, which was’ without a doubt his best quality. He is always where he should be and always offers support and a choice to teammates. ”

The scouts also drew a parallel between Xavi and Pep Guardiola, whom he replaced as Barcelona’s main playmaker after the latter suffered a serious injury in the 1999-2000 season.

Specifically, they considered his shot ‘average’, but noted that ‘he should improve this for when he goes ahead in the attack, like Guardiola’.

It’s fair to say that the Spanish may have exceeded expectations.

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