Barcelona’s Xavi optimistic about Vitor Roque’s potential despite limited playing time

Vitor Roque / Getty Images
Vitor Roque / Getty Images

Xavi has exercised caution with Roque since day one, collaborating with fitness trainers to devise a plan for the forward’s return to form.

Xavi Hernández has opted to proceed cautiously with Vitor Roque. According to Roger Torello of Mundo Deportivo, since joining Barcelona last January, the Brazilian forward has been sparingly utilized by the coach, primarily due to his recovery from a two-month injury and subsequent wedding-related break after his stint with Athletico Paranaense. Xavi, in coordination with the fitness staff, devised a tailored plan to help Roque regain top form upon his arrival.

In a recent interview with MD, Roque admitted he’s at about “70-75%” fitness, prompting Xavi to gradually ease him in and provide protection, especially considering the hype surrounding Tigrinho’s arrival. Xavi, who considers himself partly responsible for Roque’s signing, expressed satisfaction with Roque’s progress, praising his exemplary attitude and eagerness to learn. Believing Roque is an ideal striker for exploiting spaces, Xavi is confident that the 19-year-old will showcase his talents at Barcelona, particularly in the short term.

Despite having played only nine games for Barcelona so far – seven in the league and two in the Copa del Rey – with only one league start against Celta, Roque is expected to receive more opportunities as he reaches peak form, given Xavi’s high confidence in him.