‘I Haven’t Been Up to the Task:’ Barcelona Defender Apologized to Xavi

Xavi Hernandez

Getty Xavi is reshaping his squad for next season.

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has already met with some of his squad to discuss next season and, in some cases, to explain to certain players that they are not in his plans for the 2022-23 campaign.

Oscar Mingueza is one player who has already been told he is surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou. Xavi has confirmed that he wants Samuel Umtiti, Riqui Puig, and Martin Braithwaite to find new clubs.

However, the Barcelona boss has been left surprised by Mingueza’s reaction to the news, as reported by Fernando Polo at Mundo Deportivo. Xavi and his staff had been expecting complaints about a lack of game time but instead received a quite different response.

“I’m sorry, mister, I haven’t been up to the task,” were Mingueza’s first words to his coach. The 23-year-old said he accepted the decision and even went on to thank Xavi because he has “taught him how to play.”

Xavi rewarded Mingueza for his behavior with some minutes in Barcelona’s final game of season against Villarreal. The defender came off the bench in the closing stages which gave the defender the opportunity to say goodbye to fans.

Mingueza is another graduate of Barcelona’s La Masia academy and has played at every level at the club, starting from the Under-7 side. The defender has gone on to make a total of 66 appearances for the first team.

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Barcelona Struggling to Offload Unwanted Players

Not all Barcelona players have been as gracious as Mingueza. Striker Braithwaite has already made it clear he has no intention of packing his bags in the summer despite barely featuring in 2021-22.

The Dane has even rejected talk of a loan move away from the Camp Nou while on international duty. Yet Braithwaite only managed 11 minutes of first-team action since the turn of the year and it’s difficult to see that changing if he does stay.

Midfielder Miralem Pjanic has also vowed to see out the last two years of his Barcelona contract as he returns from a season-long loan at Besiktas. The 32-year-old will face intense competition for a place if he does stay with Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Gavi, and Nico Gonzalez all in the first-team squad.

Riqui Puig Has Options

Another player on Xavi’s is unwanted list is midfielder Riqui Puig who must know his time at the club is up after spending another campaign watching the majority of games from the bench.

The midfielder only managed 519 minutes of first-team action in 2021-22 but does have some options ahead of the summer transfer window, as reported by Diario Sport.

La Liga sides Celta, Valencia, and Getafe are all keen as well as FC Andorra who are owned by Puig’s Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique. The team have just been promoted to the second tier of Spanish football and are managed by former Barca assistant coach Eder Sarabia.

The coach has already confirmed he would be more than happy to have Puig in his team next season if the youngster is willing to drop down a division. He said, “If Riqui Puig wants to enjoy football, I get on my bike, I go to Barcelona, ​​I ride it and I bring him to Andorra.”

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