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‘Barcelona can dream big again’ - Aguero sees happiness & improvement under Xavi

12:15 GMT+4 24/03/2022
R.Madrid vs. Barcelona
The Argentine striker was forced to retire shortly after making his own move to Camp Nou, but he is impressed by the progress made at the club

Sergio Aguero says the intriguing mix of youth and experience that Barcelona now have on their books is allowing the club to “dream big again”, with Xavi restoring hope and happiness to Camp Nou.

The Liga giants found themselves stuck in reverse as mismanagement off the field led to high-profile departures – such as Lionel Messi – and struggles to bring in signings of the required quality.

Faith has, however, been shown in another exciting crop of La Masia academy graduates, while transfer shackles have been shaken in deals for the likes of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, meaning that forward momentum is being established once more.

What has been said?

Aguero, who saw health problems force him into retirement shortly after making his own move to Catalunya in the summer of 2021, has told Stake.com of the progress being made by a team that remains in the hunt for Europa League glory this season: “I see a lot of happiness at Barcelona because of how they are playing right now.

“They have improved a lot since Xavi's arrival and their distinctive style of play is starting to show again. He has played a few matches as manager, but you can already see his influence.

“I'm very happy because I know the players well and know how much they love the club.

“There's plenty of young talent with huge potential that is starting to materialise. Pedri, Gavi, Ansu [Fati], Nico Gonzalez.

“If you add the seasoned veterans to that, and the reinforcements that have arrived, they can dream big again – so why not aspire to take on the Europa League?

“It won't be easy, and the process of this new team has just started so it'll need time to evolve, but they've already got what they need to give a good attempt at it.”

The bigger picture

Barcelona returned former fan favourite Xavi to his spiritual home in November 2021 after taking the decision to part with another club icon, Ronald Koeman.

A man that savoured La Liga, Champions League and Club World Cup glory with the Blaugrana as a player has made an immediate impact in a coaching capacity, claiming 15 victories from his 26 games at the helm.

The most recent of those came in a Clasico clash with arch-rivals Real Madrid, with Barca claiming a stunning 4-0 win over the Blancos at Santiago Bernabeu.

They are now up to third in the Liga table, while the Europa League quarter-final draw has thrown up a two-legged tie with Eintracht Frankfurt in an ongoing bid for more continental success.

Further reading