A lot has been made of the adaptation Lionel Messi has gone through this season. The 34-year-old has needed to acclimate himself to a new league, country, club, and language, all while uprooting his family from the only city they have ever known during the Argentine’s footballing career.
However, Messi isn’t the only that’s needed time to adapt to a new situation. FC Barcelona hired Xavi in November to replace Ronald Koeman, and the 42-year-old stated at his news conference that they’re also still adjusting to life without Messi.
“You have to understand that we are in the post-Messi era, which is already difficult in itself. He created situations that won us games. You have to have a lot of patience,” Xavi said, per Canal Supporters.
“I was the first to aspire to win titles, but we have to strengthen ourselves for next year, he continued. We must be realistic, calm, and patient. Without Messi, everything is more difficult.”
The Spanish club seems like they’ll clinch a spot in the UEFA Champions League next season but will go a year without winning a trophy after their elimination from the UEFA Europa League.
It will be interesting to see how both Messi and Barcelona appear in year two as it’s more time removed his abrupt departure last summer. Whoever can adapt and begin performing in this new reality might have a more successful 2022-23 season.