Xavi has been critical of the current state of Barcelona's famed academy, La Masia.

By 90Min
July 20, 2017

​Former Barcelona captain Xavi has kept a close eye on the club he spent the best part of 24 years with, and has claimed that Barcelona's academy has been abandoned as the Blaugrana's football style is no longer being drilled into the club's youth players.

With a long history and famous playing style, youth players at Barcelona have long been taught the style of football which has made them one of the world's best sides, in preparation for making their senior bow.

However, Xavi - a product of La Masia himself - told ​The Tactical Room that the club have made a major mistake in abandoning their famous academy teachings, which he feels needs to be taught across all age groups. 

He said: "In general, Barcelona have been sleeping. They have to strengthen the youth academy and their model of play.

"Young players have to learn this form of play so that when they get into the first team they already have the concepts properly learned."

"The coaches of the academy have to train players, they have to teach. What else does winning the children's league! We have to train children! If you win, the better, but it's not the goal."

The recent departures of highly rated youth talents Eric Garcia to Manchester City and Jordi Mboula to Monaco could well have been playing on Xavi's mind when reflecting on his former side's youth ranks.

Although deflated by the club's academy, Xavi has expressed his approval of ex-Barcelona forward Ernesto Valverde taking over at the Nou Camp - who may very well oversee a reform of the issues which Xavi holds dear.

He said: "I like the bet on Valverde.

"He's a prepared person, he has experience, he knows the club and he has lived through the style, so will do well.

"His arrival signifies a return to the orthodox style," he added.

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