Video of Joan Laporta, FC Barcelona’s president, giving a motivational speech has been posted online by the club. Laporta speaks to the players and to the coach, Xavi, after the team’s 3-2 loss to Real Madrid.
“We’re very proud, all culers are proud to be Barça fans,” he begins by saying.
Barcelona has gone through a tumultuous time in the recent past, with economic crises and mismanagement, resulting in an exodus of talent and awful results. Xavi has taken over a team with many players coming back from injuries or COVID infections, with new signings making debuts, and youngsters putting shifts in left and right.
The Catalans were second-favorites by a mile, but they put up a fight, twice coming back from a goal down before losing in extra time, with Real Madrid able to hold on and survive to win el clásico.
Ronald Araújo was back from a short term injury, while Ansu Fati came back from a long term injury. Pedri was also coming back from a long injury, and from a late recovery from COVID. The same can be said of Ferran Torres, who was not only injured and COVID positive shortly before, but was making his debut for Barcelona.
The team was full of inexperienced players, some taking part for the first time in el clásico. Gavi, Ferran Jutglà, Nico González, and Abde Ezzalzouli are clear examples, although even some of the more experienced players were quite young - such as Pedri and Fati.
On the other side, there was Dani Alves back after a long time and at the ripe age of 38.
In another category were players with uncertain futures such as Ousmane Dembélé, Luuk de Jong, and Memphis Depay, who might be moving in this transfer window or the next.
Laporta continued: “That match you’ve played, where you stepped up, you showed talent, you’ve shown pride, you’ve shown the capacity to improve, you were brave!”
He showed delight in Xavi’s work, stating “this is the path, coach.”
The players can be seen visibly crestfallen after putting in a huge effort only to fall short.
“We almost had it. We’re only missing the win,” Laporta said.
“But I’m sure if we keep going, we will get it.”