The Xavi era is well on its way, and it looks pretty familiar

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The overwhelming sentiment from Barcelona’s 0-0 draw at home to Benfica on Tuesday night will probably be frustration.

Frustration that Frenkie de Jong’s nod was just too central to beat Odyssea’s Vlachodimos, frustration that Ronald Araujo was just offside before he volleyed the ball into the net, and frustration that a dominant display did not result in a victory that would have secured Champions League development.

Even if there is reason to regret the missed opportunities and ask “think again?”, The prevailing feeling should undoubtedly be hope.

Why? Because Xavi is home. And boy, it seems.

A new exciting time under Xavi / Alex Caparros / GettyImages

A few weeks ago, La Blaugrana was down and out. Now they enter the field with their chin up and their tails waving. A team that was previously infected by despair and despair now plays with freedom and imagination. In the early stages of the 2021/22 season, they were the opposite of what the football world loves about Barcelona. Now they look worthy to bear that name.

The Camp Nou cemetery is re-emerging into something special.

This, quite simply and quite obviously, is due to the dismissal of Ronald Koeman and the subsequent introduction of Xavi. From a more pragmatic and rough style that aroused little excitement from somewhere in the club, the true Barcelona way now exists, yes.

After all, along with the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, he represents everything that was masterfully elegant and almost inimitable with the great Barcelona teams of the 2000s.

The first match of the 41-year-old’s term gave a hard-fought and respectable victory with 1-0 against city rival Espanyol in La Liga, before meeting Benfica in a decisive Champions League match on Tuesday.

Players clearly enjoy their football under Xavi / Alex Caparros / GettyImages

And during 180 minutes of football, the Barcelona faithful had more reason to get up from their chairs than this whole campaign so far. In fact, even though they were reduced to about half the capacity due to the rain (yes, really, they did not show up due to showers), the noise was incessant throughout the 0-0 decision. Despite the disappointing result, it was an evening to enjoy for the Camp Nou audience.

From the fast gliding around challenges to drive the side up, to the composed game around the opposing press, and from saturated balls to channels to fast, untraceable and triangular passes up close – there were flashes of the collective, creative style that have captivated. the global audience for so long.

Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez – old and new – blended perfectly to create a perfect concoction, in what was a creative, exciting, dominant and progressive show.

Young people continue to impress # MoreThanTalent pic.twitter.com/qAzFiquSsR

– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 23 November 2021

Of course, we will definitely not see the same quality as the great Barcelona teams of recent times in some good years. There is a project in the club – one that will take a while to realize in another golden era – but it is clear that the young players are central to it and under Xavi they will blossom into something big.

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