Xavi Responds to Ilkay Gundogan’s Criticism of His Barcelona Teammates

Xavi Responds to Ilkay Gundogan’s Criticism of His Barcelona Teammates

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at November 3, 2023 at 4:07 PM
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  • Ilkay Gundogan hit the headlines last weekend after he questioned the attitude of his Barcelona teammates after the El Clasico defeat
  • Xavi has now explained why Gundogan reacted the way he did
  • The veteran midfielder scored the opening goal, but a Jude Bellingham brace gave Real Madrid the win

Barcelona suffered a 2-1 defeat against arch-rivals Real Madrid in El Clasico last weekend, their first defeat of the season.

After the game, Ilkay Gundogan appeared to question the reaction of his teammates, who he felt should've been more angry.

Ilkay Gde Bellingham, Vinicius JuniorJuundogan, Xavi, Barcelona, El Clasico,
Ilkay Gundogan left Manchester City after winning the treble. Photos by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images.
Source: Getty Images

The La Liga champions took the lead early in the first half thanks to the former Manchester City midfielder. However, Jude Bellingham's brace meant Madrid took the win and bragging rights in an entertaining encounter.

The hard-fought victory saw Madrid return to the top of La Liga, level on points with Girona and four clear of Xavi Hernandez's side.

Gundogan was not pleased with the reaction of his teammates after the defeat.

"But especially after such a big game and a result that is so unnecessary, I wish for more frustration, more anger and more disappointment. This is a little bit the problem," via ESPN.
"There has to be more emotion, especially when you lose and when you know you can perform better, do better in certain situations and you just don't react."

The German joined the Blaugrana in the summer after winning the treble with Man City.

Xavi responds to Gundogan

Speaking ahead of their trip to Real Sociedad, Xavi explained Gundogan's El Clasico reaction

“He expressed the anger that we all had inside, nothing else. We were all angry. It comes down to culture. Any one of us could have said it, this is cultural. He comes from a different culture compared to ours. If you see Bayern’s defeat the other day, Muller came out and criticised. In the dressing room, there has been no controversy,” via Football Espana.

Gundogan has played every game for Barcelona this season, scored one goal and assisted four times.

The El Clasico defeat was their first of the season. Xavi's team has been hit with injuries to major players, but most of them are close to full fitness.

The good news is Barcelona have beaten Real Sociedad in eight of their last 10 meetings but lost their last encounter.

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Bellingham wins Clasico for Madrid

In his debut La Liga Clasico, Jude Bellingham's impressive brace secured a thrilling 2-1 comeback win for Real Madrid against Barcelona on Saturday, as reported by Sports Brief.

The young English talent, who has been showcasing an exceptional goal-scoring prowess since joining Madrid, first equalized with a stunning long-range strike into the top corner after Ilkay Gundogan had initially put Barcelona ahead at the Olympic Stadium.

Bellingham's decisive goals propelled Real Madrid to the summit of La Liga, edging ahead of Girona based on goal difference, with both teams leading Barcelona by a four-point margin in the league standings.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.