Joao Cancelo Responds to Xavi’s Criticism of Barcelona Players After Draw vs Rayo Vallecano

Joao Cancelo Responds to Xavi’s Criticism of Barcelona Players After Draw vs Rayo Vallecano

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at November 28, 2023 at 8:49 AM
  • Barcelona boss Xavi criticised his players after the draw against Rayo Vallecano
  • He questioned the mentality of his team and asked them to put in more effort
  • Joao Cancelo has responded to his coach ahead of their Champions League clash

Barcelona manager, Xavi Hernandez was not impressed by the performance and mentality of his players following a frustrating 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano over the weekend.

Defender, Joao Cancelo has refuted Xavi's remarks, explaining why his manager was wrong.

Xavi Hernandez, Joao Cancelo, Barcelona, La Liga, Champions League, Robert Lewandowski
Barcelona's title defence is not going well. Photos by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images and Angel Martinez.
Source: Getty Images

In recent weeks, the reigning La Liga champions have struggled to produce excellent performances and have been forced to settle for draws and on-goal margin victories.

Against Rayo Vallecano, the first-half performance was not great, but Xavi made changes in the second half, and they were better. However, they still couldn't break down a stubborn defence.

Their struggles in front of goal are well documented. The Spanish giants have failed to win any game by more than a single goal since their back-to-back 5-0 victories over Real Betis and Royal Antwerp in September, per 90min.

"We have to change the mentality of going to win the games," Xavi commented after the draw.

Cancelo responds to Xavi

Speaking ahead of their Champions League clash against Porto, Cancelo disagreed with his manager's remarks.

"I don’t think we lack a winning mentality, because I have always seen Barça win. We have a very young team and it doesn’t have the experience of the older ones. But that is learned year by year," he said, via Football Espana.

He also responded to Xavi's comments he made before the international break. The World Cup winner said criticism from the press may have affected his team.

"The criticism from the press does not affect me personally because I am already a veteran, I’m more of an adult, but we have very young players. We have to know how to deal with pressure because only then will we achieve great things."

Barcelona's problems can also be attributed to injuries. Several key players have been sidelined at some point this season.

Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Frenkie De Jong, and Pedri have all missed time, while Gavi sustained a season-ending ACL injury during the international break.

Barcelona play their next three games at home. They start with FC Porto in the UCL, then take on Atletico Madrid and Girona in La Liga.

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Xavi questions Barcelona's player's mentality

As Sports Brief previously reported, Barcelona boss, Xavi was unimpressed with his players' mentality and demanded more effort from them after their draw this weekend.

His comments come after a run of poor performances, domestically and in Europe. The former midfielder was critical of his team's performance, questioning their efforts.

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.