Featured Interviews

Barcelona Focused on Squad Stability, Deco Highlights

Deco / Getty Images
Deco / Getty Images

Deco highlights considerations for squad renewal and player recovery.

Barcelona’s sporting director Deco expressed on the ‘Què t’hi Jugues’ program, on SER Catalunya, that “I sign to win the Champions League and for Xavi to stay,” in an interview where he also admitted his admiration for Luis Enrique and stated, “We don’t want any player to play in both the Euro and the Olympics next summer.”

Deco explained that “the Barça DNA for me is technical quality, playing quality, individual… the Barça DNA is quality. Then there are the models and formations, very varied. But the DNA is player quality, playing quality, seeing something you like.” When asked about Xavi’s future, he commented, “I have probably been asked 10 times already if Xavi is leaving or not. I didn’t want Xavi to leave at the end of the season. We are in La Liga and the Champions League, there are objectives to fulfill and we can’t be asking all day.”

He reiterated that “Xavi keeps telling us that his decision is irreversible. If anything changes, he must let us know. If he says he wants to continue, we should talk to him.” Nonetheless, he pointed out that “if there is a coach with courage and who has never complained, it is Xavi. Regardless of how it ends, I will remember him for his courage. He doesn’t complain about whether we can sign players or not, he is always positive, it’s a luxury to work with him. It will be a stage of victories, he will leave a rebuilt Barça for history.”

Regarding the possible replacement, he reiterated that “we have not negotiated with any coach. When you know your coach is leaving, we know who is available or not. We are attentive, but we have not made any moves. When ‘fair play’ is clarified and we know what we can do, even if Xavi tells us he continues, we will have to talk to him about the options.”

He admits that “I really like Luis Enrique, he is a reference in every way, as a coach, manager, and as a person. He has everything of a top coach.” Regarding the possibility that some players may be selected for both the Euro and the Olympics, he assures that “as a club, we don’t want any player to go to both. The Federation knows this, but we have to talk to the players and manage it. We will try to prevent it from happening. Playing in both the Euro and the Olympics is too much. We need to discuss the number of games the players play.” As for the squad remodelling, he considers that “it is key to maintain what we have. I am very happy and it’s not about selling.” He explains that “Araujo will renew if he wants to. We will make an effort because he deserves it.” Regarding the future of Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo, he highlighted that “if the situation is the same as last year, we want them with us.” And, about Lamine Yamal and Cubarsí, he points out that “the future of both is on track,” while he explains that Gavi’s recovery “is progressing well.”