Xavi Hernandez talks up Barca rotation
Xavi Hernandez believes that Gerardo Martino’s rotation policy at Barcelona is helping him feel fit and fresh at this stage of the season.
Blaugrana coach Martino has regularly rotated three of his Spain international midfielders over the first three months of the current campaign, meaning Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas have all spent regular spells on the bench.
“I feel good and fresh,” he said. “The coach is doing well with the rotations. I always want to play.”
Martino is being careful in his use of Xavi -- along with other stars, including even previously-ever-present Lionel Messi -- as the coach feels that exhaustion was a reason as to why Barca came up short in Champions League semifinals against Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Inter Milan in recent seasons.
Former Barca manager Cesar Luis Menotti has backed this idea, saying that rotation makes sense for both mental and physical reasons.
“A player’s fatigue is never muscular,” Menotti told the club’s official website. “It is much easier to recover a player physically than mentally.”
Menotti, who guided Argentina to the 1978 World Cup, said his fellow Argentine was also being clever in not making too many changes to Barca’s traditional tiki-taka style of play.
“Tata’s situation is a bit complicated because what can he do?” he said. “It is difficult -- for sure the only thing he can do is maintain the idea of play. It is difficult to know what he can add.
“What can you put on the Mona Lisa? A moustache? Barca has worked like a symphony in recent years and, although they have had some adversities, they have remained at the highest level. The idea was never questioned.”