Ronaldinho: Barcelona can catch Real Madrid after Xavi restored hope

xavi hernandez

Ronaldinho believes Barcelona can chase down LaLiga leaders Real Madrid after his former Blaugrana team-mate Xavi restored “hope” at the club.

Barca raised the bar after appointing Xavi as manager last November, rising from ninth to third following a 14-match unbeaten run in Spain’s top flight, including a 4-0 win over Madrid.

That undefeated victory is the longest-running streak in the top leagues in Europe, with Barca having won six LaLiga games in a row, keeping clean points in the last three games.

Barca’s next job will be a trip to Levante on Sunday as the Catalan club are looking for four consecutive wins in the tournament without conceding for the first time since December 2018.

And Ronaldinho, who played with Xavi during his five-year stint at Barca between 2003 and 2008, believes the former player has restored faith to Blaugrana fans.

“I’m back to check on Barca and Xavi who is back and has given us hope,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

“Like my old friend and teammate as he is, this makes people and me happy. When he played he already had a vision of the game as a coach.

“He directed the game and I can see it clearly because it makes us want to watch the Barca games again.”

Barca brought back memories of the 2003-04 season when they beat Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu before taking the title late, by tearing down Carlo Ancelotti’s side on the road last month.

Xavi’s side will be 12 points behind Madrid with a win over Levante, still holding the match in hand, and Ronaldinho says they can win the title.

“[The 2003-04 season win in Madrid] was the best return we have ever had and it could happen again,” he added.

“Like I said, we are happy that Barca will play well again and I think anything is possible.

Pressured by whether Barca could end the unimaginable transformation of the LaLiga title in Madrid, the Brazilian senior replied: “I hope so and as a fan I hope things will go well and I think they can.”

While uncertainty remains where the LaLiga title will be at the end of the season, one thing is certain; Ronaldinho has no intention of getting into management or coaching anytime soon.

“The truth is that I have never seen myself in this way, in the future I will probably be patient,” he said when asked if Xavi would be his assistant.

“It’s hard when you leave the ball and you have a way of looking, you want others to do things that are very difficult for them to do. So, I have no patience.”

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