Xavi facing growing unrest in Barcelona dressing room - report

  • Barcelona destroyed 4-1 by Real Madrid in recent Supercopa de Espana final
  • Catalan giants also yet to show best form in La Liga this season as they defend title
  • Spaniard has another year-and-a-half to run on current contract
Things could be heading south for Xavi at Barcelona
Things could be heading south for Xavi at Barcelona / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Barcelona head coach Xavi is losing the backing of some players in the dressing room, a new report has claimed.

The Catalan giants were dismantled in Sunday's Supercopa de Espana final by rivals Real Madrid, going down to a heavy 4-1 defeat after Vinicius Junior's first half hat-trick, and things have not been going swimmingly for Barca in La Liga either.

A number of draws have seen Xavi's side drop eight points behind surprise table-toppers Girona at the halfway mark of the season, though they do have a game in hand, and seven behind second-place Madrid.

ESPN report that there's growing discontent from some of Barcelona's players regarding the team's style of play, with some said to be questioning the approach of the legendary Spaniard. The ill-feeling is said to pre-date Barca's humbling defeat to Madrid in Saudi Arabia, with another issue thought to be Xavi's preferential treatment of some players in the dressing room.

Xavi has often criticised the character of his team when results have not gone Barcelona's way, though he has always backed his players to turn things around and deliver the positive results demanded by the club's supporters and hierarchy.

His Barcelona contract runs until the summer of 2025, giving him just under 18 months to build on last season's convincing title win - one which saw the club finish 10 points clear of Madrid.

Crucially, Xavi has been unable to deliver the same success for Barcelona in Europe. Last season the club were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage and were then unable to get the better of Manchester United in a two-legged play-off to enter the Europa League at the last 16 stage.

Barcelona topped Group H this season ahead of Porto, but only cemented their place as group winners thanks to a superior head-to-head record. They disappointingly lost away at both Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp - the latter of whom were playing in the Champions League for the first time - and accrued just 12 points from a possible 18.

There have also been question marks over the suitability of Robert Lewandowski up front. The 35-year-old Pole, famed for his goalscoring exploits over the past decade at Bayern Munich, has struggled to maintain the form he showed in his first season at Barcelona, with many outwardly questioning the club's decision to give the Pole a four-year contract upon his arrival from Bavaria.