Barcelona ran riot at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night, battering the league leaders 4-0 in front of their home fans.
Xavi took over a broken and battered Barcelona side and slowly built the team again from the ground up, after securing some shrewd transfer market deals and paying attention to player strengths.
Despite the season being far from over, Xavi’s rebuild looks to have come full circle with the 4-0 thrashing of their eternal rivals Real Madrid after six winless games, five of which had Lionel Messi in the Barcelona team.
All the Barcelona players barely put a foot wrong in the game, which could have ended with more goals than it did, but for some great saves from Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and some poor finishing from Barcelona players.
Xavi, speaking to Barcelona TV after the match, admitted that while the win feels good, it still felt surreal as he didn’t think his side had gotten to the level they showed at the hostile ground of their eternal rivals.
“We have worked hard for these results. But we didn’t expect to be so superior in their stadium,” Xavi said in his post-match interview.
“We expected a more open game. I am very happy.”
Barcelona and Madrid have played some pretty intense fixtures in their history. However, modern history favours the Catalans more as their wins over Los Blancos are always emphatic.
One of such wins was the 6-2 win at the Bernabeu in 2009 when Pep Guardiola was still Barcelona’s manager. Many drew parallels between Sunday’s win and that win, and Xavi agrees with their opinions.
“It can be compared. We were far superior, in terms of goals and our play. We leave with a smile from ear to ear,” the manager stated.
However, Xavi is not ready to rest on his oars and while in a celebratory mood, has called on his team to remain focused ahead of the next gameweek following the international break.
“We have to keep working. It’s not a trophy. We have to be humble,” Xavi said.
“We’ll celebrate today and then we have to rest and think about Sevilla. It’s three more points.
“I don’t think it will give us enough to win LaLiga, it’s very difficult. But today is a great kick in the teeth [of the league leaders].
“First [we’ll focus on staying in] the Champions League places and then we’ll see. This [win] strengthens the project. We haven’t achieved our objectives yet. We have to keep going.”
The victory, however, did nothing significant to Madrid’s chances of securing a 35th league title this season as Los Blancos remain nine points clear at the top, and 12 points clear of Barcelona, who sit in third on the league standings.