Barcelona F.C. Football Astro Balls
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Xavi's first game in charge was a derby against Espanyol
Xavi took charge of his first game as Barcelona manager in a derby against Espanyola on Saturday. The Catalan side failed to score in the first half, but Memphis Depay converted the penalty in the second half to win a 3-2 victory. The former Tottenham defender spent 17 years with Barcelona and scored 25 titles during his career.
Xavi's first game in charge was a derby against his old club, and the former Dutch international's team have a decent record against their rivals. His record against Espanyol was superb, with 36 appearances for the Catalan side. Xavi is the club's second all-time appearance maker after Lionel Messi, and the derby will be a good test for his new side.
The former Dutch international came through the la Masia and is a prime example of how homegrown talent is important for a club. He watched Barcelona B following his appointment. Ilias scored two goals in this derby, earning him a start in the first team on Saturday. Xavi also brought in his former teammate Daniel Alves to reinforce his team's attacking midfield.
Xavi's first game in charge against his former club will be an exciting homecoming. His record against the Los Periquitos is exceptional as a player, and he had a record of winning 25 games out of 36 against the club. In fact, Xavi only lost two matches against Espanyol, and it has become one of his favourite teams in the league.
The first game for a new manager is rarely a good sign for a team's future. It can be a good indicator of the style of play a team is adopting. However, it is impossible to make predictions for the second half if a team is unlucky. In Barcelona's first game under Xavi, it was a derby and the opposition had more than their fair share of chances.
Xavi was appointed manager of Barcelona in January 2010 but the first game he coached was against his former club. In 2009, Espanyol won the last game at Camp Nou and the club had a young former player/hero, Mauricio Pochettino, to take charge. He took over the club with rock bottom table and a derby against Barcelona was on his agenda.
Xavi's arrival has rekindled the enthusiasm of Barcelona fans. Until now, Barcelona's home attendance had been at its lowest levels for over 20 years. After Xavi took over as manager, however, they've increased their home attendance and averaged 74,418 fans per match. It is only last week that they finally broke into the top four, but this weekend they face Napoli in the Europa League.
Barca's longest winning run in La Liga
With Saturday's win over Valencia, Barcelona has now won 39 consecutive games in La Liga. This record is the longest in the league, and it is better than Real Sociedad's 38-match run (set in 1979-80). Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick and Samuel Umtiti added another, as Barca's unbeaten streak reached 39 games. The team remained unbeaten against Valencia, despite a late penalty from Dani Parejo, but managed to keep the game in their favour and hold onto the victory.
Barcelona's winning streak is the longest in La Liga this season. The club currently leads Atletico Madrid by twelve points, and is a massive eight-time European champion. But the team's recent form has been a concern, as the Champions League is one of the club's biggest priorities. Regardless of how the league table looks, the Spanish champions can't afford to lose any more points.
Real Madrid's longest unbeaten streak in La Liga is 28 games. Real Madrid went unbeaten in their first 24 games of the 1996-97 season, and carried over four wins from the previous season. The streak lasted until the team lost to Rayo Vallecano in the 30th game of the season. Real Madrid finished with twenty-seven wins and nine draws and won the league in four consecutive seasons.
After Sunday's win, Barcelona is on an 11-point lead over Deportivo La Coruna. Real Madrid face Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 26, and Barca need to win both games to extend their unbeaten streak. So, what is next? The team must win their next two games against Real Madrid and Real Sociedad to continue their run of success. If they do that, they can secure their league crown.
Robert Lewandowski and Ferran Torres have combined to score over ten goals for Barca. Both players are vital to Barca's recent success. However, they need more players and have signed Franck Kessie from AC Milan and completed Andreas Christensen from Chelsea. The three players have proven their worth in recent weeks. While the team continues to build on their winning ways, they may have to look for new players to strengthen the squad.
In the 2010-11 season, Barcelona suffered a 2-0 loss to Hercules, which would prove to be the catalyst for their third consecutive La Liga title. This spurred Barcelona into a 31-game unbeaten run, which included a 5-0 win over Jose Mourinho's Madrid in Catalonia. The streak ended when Real Sociedad beat Barcelona 1-0. Barcelona finished the season with 96 points and drew four times.
Barcelona last won 11 consecutive games in the 2015/16 season. They had a run of 12 wins between matchdays 19 and 29. The 2010/11 season saw Pep Guardiola lead the league with 16 wins. Real Madrid have achieved this feat six times and Barcelona has done it five times. There are only two other teams in LaLiga who have won 11 games in a row, but Real Madrid are the current leaders.
Youngest player to appear for FC Barcelona
The youngster to ever make an appearance for FC Barcelona is 17-year-old Ansu Fati. In his first year with the Catalan giants, Fati made his first-team debut and is quickly becoming known as "the Barcelona phenomenon." He is the youngest player to ever score a league goal and is the youngest debutant to play in the UEFA Champions League. However, his debut season was cut short due to a meniscus tear. Still, he has plenty of time to make his mark.
At only 18 years and 13 days old, Lucas Miller made his first-team debut against Getafe on 29 August 2021. He replaced Martin Braithwaite, who had been injured for the previous month. The youngster's debut made him the fourth youngest player to appear for Barca in La Liga. While Messi is currently injured, Miller has a chance to make his Barca debut. While Xavi may not be a household name, his potential is clear.
The teenager's name was inspired by a manga series called Captain Tsubasa. At age 11, he joined the Real Betis academy and then moved to FC Barcelona's La Masia school. While there, he learned to play with older players and use his skills efficiently. Gavi's impressive stats are one of the reasons he has become one of the youngest players to play for FC Barcelona.
A new record has been set. Bojan Krkic became the youngest player to make 100 appearances in La Liga for the Catalan club. He did it by scoring the winning goal against Getafe. Last season, he played in Seville and scored the second goal. Bojan Krkic is just 20 years old, whereas Sergio Busquets was 21 years and 250 days old when he reached 100 La Liga games.
Despite being a teenager, Gavi has made a big impact in Barcelona's midfield. His impressive form this season has seen him included in the squad for Spain's UEFA Nations League semi-final against Italy. This makes him the youngest player to start a Clasico since the turn of the century. It is also the first time a 17-year-old has been selected for Spain's national team.
Iniesta was born in the Philippines in 1910. His parents had moved to Spain to continue their studies, and by the time Alcantara joined Barcelona, they had moved to Madrid. He became a regular and the most decorated player in Spanish football. While he is a member of Barcelona's hallowed Hall of Fame, he continues to play for the club as a professional. However, his parents did not allow him to stay in Spain, despite Barcelona's pleas.
Pedro Alcantara made his FC Barcelona debut in 1912. He was just 15 years old at the time, but his impressive performances in the competition helped him earn the nickname "El Galactico". After his debut, he went on to become one of the team's most prolific goal scorers. By the end of his first season, the Catalan club had won the La Liga title and the Campionat de Catalunya, claiming the Copa del Rey and the Campionat de Cataluny.