New Barcelona boss Xavi has wasted no time in stamping his authority at the club, implementing a list of 10 strict new rules in a bid to return the Catalans to the top of the table.
The club legend has replaced Ronald Koeman at the helm, and will be under no illusions about the size of the task ahead of him, with Barca languishing down in ninth in the LaLiga table.
In a bid to get the Nou Camp giants back to the top, Xavi has reportedly put forward a list of ‘ten commandments’ this week, as revealed by AS, which the players will have to follow with no exceptions.
The 41-year-old is used to winning titles with Barcelona and is bringing back some of the methods used while he was a player, beginning with the squad’s arrival time for training.
Under Koeman, the players only had to arrive for training around half an hour before the session, but Xavi is now insisting that the squad be at the facilities 90 minutes before they head out to the pitches – while staff must arrive two hours before.
Previously it was also at the players’ discretion whether they ate lunch at the training ground or went home immediately after the session to eat – but now Xavi is insistent that all players eat together at the Cuitat Esportiva.
Diet is hugely important to Xavi and he believes that by eating the right things, his squad can prevent injuries and improve their physical preparations for matches.
Fourth on his list of 10 commandments is the return of fines, something the players have not been subjected to since the exit of Luis Enrique.
What’s more, the fines will increase exponentially for repeat offenders – if you are late to training once, you will pay just 100 euros, but it doubles every time, meaning players could incur huge penalties if they are consistently breaking the rules.
Xavi’s players will also have to limit their non-footballing activities, with number six on the list detailing another ‘non-negotiable requirement’.
After coming into force this week, club legend Gerard Pique has already cancelled a planned TV interview in a bid to ‘focus on football’.
Some ‘risky’ activities have also been banned completely, with players told they are now not allowed to surf or ride electric bikes, for fear of injury.
If any player is found guilty of that, it will be passed straight to the club’s legal department and is considered a ‘flagrant breach of contract’.
The final two rules on Xavi’s ‘ten commandments’ are about ‘image’ and ‘meritocracy’.