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Xavi seeks fan backing as new Barca boss prepares for Espanyol test

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New Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez issued a rallying cry to the club’s supporters on Friday, asking them to get behind the team as he prepares for his first match in charge of the side against local rivals Espanyol in LaLiga on Saturday.

Barca are ninth in the table on 17 points, 10 points behind fierce rivals Real Madrid and 11 adrift of leaders Real Sociedad and Xavi – who took charge this month following Ronald Koeman’s sacking – said his team needed their fans now more than ever.

“Here I stand asking our people to be on our side. There won’t be a lack of attitude. You can be sure we’ll give it our all. We ask you to come help us,” former Barca midfielder Xavi said in Friday’s news conference.

The Camp Nou can accommodate more than 99 000 fans but Barca have struggled to draw crowds amid their struggles this season, with a little over 37 000 fans present at the venue for their 1-1 draw with Alaves.

It was their lowest attendance for a weekend league game in two decades.

“We’re Barca, we need to stick together. If you give your all like you did the day I was presented, it’s good for me,” Xavi, who signed his contract in front of thousands of fans earlier this month, added.

Read Also: Tottenham blow as star suffers hamstring injury on WCQ duty

Barca sealed a narrow 1-0 win the last time the teams met in July 2020 and Xavi said he expects a tough test against their opponents, who earned promotion to the top tier this season.

“There will be a lot of tension and we need to control our nerves… I told the boys they need to stay calm on the pitch because they’ll face rivals who are well prepared,” Xavi said.

“I’m less nervous now as a coach than I used to be when I was a player. I’m happy to be home and I’m looking forward to the game.”

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Germany legend Matthaus defends Dortmund midfielder Bellingham

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Bellingham

Germany World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus has defended Jude Bellingham.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been fined by the German Federation after referencing ref Felix Zwayer’s past match fixing ban following defeat to Bayern Munich last weekend.

Matthaus said: “His words were inappropriate and he would probably never say them again today, but I can understand his frustration and anger after the game ends.

read also:Real Madrid captain Marcelo makes exit call

“Something similar happened to me in Karlsruhe too.

“The adrenaline and the emotions you feel after losing such an important match due to a controversial decision are difficult to control, even if you don’t have to overdo it.”

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Real Madrid captain Marcelo makes exit call

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Macelo

Real Madrid captain, Marcelo is ready to return home to Brazil in 2022.

Ole says after 13 years with Real, the Brazilian will leave when his contract ends next June and everything indicates that he will not renew and will return to his country, specifically to Fluminense, his formative club.

read also:Everton plan to appoint two new directors

Marcelo has already made the decision, though is willing to see out his current contract, rather than leave in January.

The wing-back has struggled for minutes this season.

 

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Everton plan to appoint two new directors

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Everton

Everton are ready to welcome two new directors.Everton are ready to welcome two new directors.Everton are ready to welcome two new directors.

Everton are ready to welcome two new directors.

The Liverpool Echo says Everton are planning to find two new board members following the departures of Marcel Brands and Sarvar Ismailov.

And further additions to the Goodison top table have not been ruled out.

read also:Adegbenro named best striker in Sweden

Ismailov’s decision to quit his role last month, and last night’s confirmation of Brands’ exit, have left only three board of directors.

Chairman Bill Kenwright, chief executive officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale and finance chief Grant Ingles are the only board members left.

But the club are fully intending to replace them and the arrival of further fresh faces has been discussed.

 

 

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