Xavi Admits He’s Surprised By ‘Spectacular’ Barcelona Teenager


Getty Xavi celebrates Ez Abde's goal against Osasuna.

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez singled out 19-year-old forward Ez Abde for praise after seeing his side held to a 2-2 draw at Osasuna in La Liga on Sunday, December 13.

Abde scored his first goal for the club at El Sadar with an emphatic finish at the far post after good work from Ousmane Dembele and Nico Gonzalez. Xavi spoke highly about the teenager after the game, as reported by Marca.

“Extraordinary Abde, Gavi and Nico. They are supporting the team in difficult moments. The effort is extraordinary. Young people make a difference and that is difficult to digest. It is positive and negative, because they will not always perform excellently because they are young,” he said. “Abde’s game is spectacular, and also Nico and Gavi’s. Abde is a differential player. He can make a difference, it is not because of the goal. He is a dagger. A marvel. It is a surprise. It is great news. They are making the difference in a tremendous way. But we all have to demand more from each other.”

Abde moved to the Camp Nou from Hércules in the summer of 2021 to join Barcelona B but has been handed the chance to impress in the first team due to a raft of injuries to key attackers such as Ansu Fati, Sergio Aguero, and Martin Braithwaite.

Xavi certainly enjoyed Abde’s goal. Barcelona shared footage of how the coach reacted to the youngster’s effort on Twitter.

Barcelona went ahead in the match when another teenager, Nico Gonzalez, fired home after a great pass from 17-year-old Gavi. However, Osasuna leveled two minutes later through David Garcia and made it 2-2 with four minutes left to play with a strike by substitute Chimy Avila.

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Pique Admits Situation is ‘Critical’

Gerard Pique also offered his thoughts after the draw that leaves Barcelona with just one win in their last five matches in all competitions. The defender admits the team have to get back to winning ways urgently, as reported by ESPN.

“Like Xavi said,  a new era is starting and it’s vital we start picking up points in LaLiga. We’re adrift [of the top four] and the more points we can make up in the coming weeks, the better. We competed today, but the result was a huge shame,” he told Movistar. “Now it’s about winning, winning and winning. We are in a critical situation and it’s urgent that we get back to winning ways.”

Pique started the game as part of three-man central defense alongside Ronald Araujo and Samuel Umtiti. However, the 34-year-old will have to sit out Barca’s next La Liga match against Elche after picking up a fifth booking of the season which results in an automatic one-match ban.

Abde Hoping For More Goals

Meanwhile, Abde spoke about his first Barcelona goal after the match and made it clear he’s hoping to contribute many more for the Catalan giants, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.

“I am happy for the goal, but sad for the result,” he told Barca TV. “I hope it will be the first goal of many, but I think we did not deserve the draw at the end. We have to keep working, put on the overalls and work.”

El Sadar seems to be a happy hunting ground for Barcelona’s youngsters. Ansu Fati and Iliax Moriba both scored their first goals for the club at Osasuna, while Abde and Nico followed in the young duo’s footsteps on Sunday.

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