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Laporta backs ‘marvellous’ Barca coach Xavi after first trophy win

Barcelona president Joan Laporta backed coach Xavi Hernandez after he led the team to victory over Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday.

The Catalans won 3-1 in Riyadh to win the first trophy since Xavi arrived in November 2021.

Xavi brought in Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde among other expensive summer signings, with Barcelona selling off a chunk of future television rights to allow for the deals, despite their heavy debts.

After Barcelona were eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League in October the coach received criticism and Xavi admitted he needed to win trophies this season or face the sack.

“It’s an extraordinary generation of players, and led by a marvellous coach,” Laporta told Movistar.

“I am convinced (by Xavi) — he has knowledge, personality, his style of playing that Barca show, and we express ourselves in that way.”

Xavi won eight La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies as a player with Barca between 1998 and 2015, going on to captain the team.

After replacing Ronald Koeman on the bench, Xavi’s time in charge has been a rollercoaster, with Sunday’s win over Madrid at the King Fahd International Stadium the peak to date.

Robert Lewandowski, Gavi and Pedri scored Barcelona’s goals in a dominant performance against their Clasico rivals, while Karim Benzema snatched a late consolation for Madrid.

Xavi said that Barcelona needed to win the trophy more than their opponents, with their last coming in April 2021, when they won the Spanish Cup.

By contrast, Real Madrid won a Champions League and La Liga double last season.

“We needed it more than Madrid, who have won more titles than us,” said Xavi.

“I am very satisfied for the players who deserved it and worked for it, they are a great bunch. It went very well for us, the players understood (the plan) well.”

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