Barcelona legend Xavi took to social media on Sunday to remember a very special day a decade ago when he was nominated for the final of the 2010 Ballon d’Or along with team-mates Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.
It was a special moment for the club and obviously the Barca trio. It was the first, and remains the only, time in history that the final three consisted of a set of players who had all emerged from the same youth academy.
Xavi explained just how important a moment it was in his career with a post on Instagram, “Ten years ago today I received one of the most special recognitions during my career as a football player. The Ballon D’or finalist nomination along with Leo Messi and Andres Iniesta. It was not only the three of us, it was a recognition of the whole Barcelona style and values. Visca el Barça!”
Messi ended up scooping the 2010 award ahead of Iniesta and Xavi. The former Barcelona midfielders are arguably two of the greatest players never to have lifted the prestigious Golden Ball trophy, largely due to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent dominance of the award.
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Messi and Barcelona Struggling
Xavi’s wander down memory lane is a reminder of Barca’s dominance under Pep Guardiola and comes at a time when the current team is struggling for performances and results.
Ronald Koeman’s side suffered their fourth defeat of the season on Saturday at newly-promoted Cadiz to slip 12 points off the top of the table. The Dutch coach only arrived in August but is already coming under pressure because of his faltering team’s poor form.
Barcelona are due to hold presidential elections in January 2021 which could also affect Koeman’s job security. Presidential candidate Victor Font has already made it clear he’d like Xavi back at the club as coach and thinks the former midfielder could convince Messi to stay at the Camp Nou after his contract expires next summer, as reported by Sport.
Time to Trust in La Masia?
Barcelona’s difficulties on the pitch mean Koeman could be tempted to make changes to his team going forward. The club’s financial issues also mean January transfers may prove tricky which could allow for more opportunities for the club’s La Masia graduates.
Koeman has trusted in youth this season at times despite initially advising Carles and Riqui Puig they would be better of heading out on loan. Injuries in defense have allowed 21-year-old Oscar Minguez a first-team chance, while Ansu Fati started the season brightly until his campaign was interrupted by knee surgery.
Alena and Puig will be hoping for more opportunities in the coming weeks, while Barca B winger Konrad de la Fuente may also see some game time with Ousmane Dembele having picked up a hamstring injury.
Following in the illustrious footsteps of Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi is by now means easy, but supporters would certainly love to see more of the club’s homegrown talent coming through the ranks and succeeding at the Camp Nou in the future.