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The next generation ready to lead Xavi's Barca renaissance
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Mitchell Fretton

Xavi has returned to Barcelona in an effort to restore the Catalan club to their former glories.

Collecting a total of eight LaLiga titles and four Champions League medals, Xavi was part of a golden generation at the Blaugrana — starring alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.

The World Cup winner is schooled in playing attacking, fast-paced football and was an expert in implementing Pep Guardiola's tiki-taka dominance.

Now he will be hoping to bring through the next generation of La Masia talent in a bid to replicate the style and substance that brought Barca a period of unprecedented success.

We take a look at some of the key players who will have an important role to play under Xavi as he begins his tenure at the Camp Nou.

Ansu Fati

Ansu Fati is already showing signs of becoming one of the stars of European football.

Since his debut in 2019, the 19-year-old has scored 16 goals in 50 appearances and is an expert in utilising his pace and trickery to leave opponents in his wake.

The Spanish international has taken on the No10 shirt since the departure of Messi and is held in high regard by the Barca hierarchy — evidenced by his €1billion release clause in the new six-year contract he signed in October.

Xavi will be hoping to get the best out of the left winger despite his recent serious knee injury, which kept Messi's protege sidelined for 11 months.


Pedri has shown his potential at both club and international level
Pedri has shown his potential at both club and international level

Pedri is another exciting and versatile young talent within the Barcelona ranks.

The 18-year-old can play as an attacking midfielder or winger and has been heavily involved with his club and country, featuring in a staggering 73 games during the 2020-21 season.

As the youngest member of Spain's Euro 2020 squad, Pedri is primed to be one of Barca's next superstars.


Gavi has provided glimpses of his huge talent this season
Gavi has provided glimpses of his huge talent this season

Gavi joined the Barcelona youth team in 2015 and has burst onto the scene in Spain this season.

The central midfielder made his debut in August, aged just 17, and has been compared to his new manager because of his composure and technical ability on the pitch.

Although Gavi has only recorded one assist for his club so far, he has shown promise in front of goal and is rumoured to have scored 95 goals during one season in the Real Betis academy.

Such is his talent, Gavi became Spain's youngest ever full international at 17 years and 62 days when he started the Nations League semi-final victory over Italy in October.

Eric Garcia

Eric Garcia joined Barcelona on a free transfer from Manchester City
Eric Garcia joined Barcelona on a free transfer from Manchester City

Guardiola was keen to keep Eric Garcia at Manchester City in the summer — but the Spaniard decided to return to the club he spent nine years at between 2008 and 2017.

Garcia has already featured 11 times for the Catalan giants this term after struggling to nail down a spot in City's strong back-line in.

With Gerard Pique reaching the twilight of his career and Clement Lenglet falling out of favour, Garcia has consolidated his place in Barca's central defence.

Xavi will undoubtedly look to youth and the 20-year-old will be keen to demonstrate he is a man that can be relied on at the back.

Oscar Mingueza 

Versatile defender Oscar Mingueza, 22, can fit in anywhere along the back-line and was a regular at right-back under Ronald Koeman

The Spanish international is another product of the La Masia academy and he endeared himself to the Nou Camp faithful by scoring in April's El Clasico.

Having also played a big part in the Catalan's Copa del Rey triumph, he will want to maintain his spot in the starting XI under Xavi.


LaLigaXavi HernandezPedro Gonzales LopezAnssumane FatiPablo GaviraEric GarciaOscar Mingueza GarciaBarcelona
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