In this week's exclusive, Rivaldo discusses Ronald Koeman's Barcelona exit, his replacement as well as what the Catalan club should be aiming for this season in La Liga and Champions League.
"I think it has everything needed to go well, but of course the board also needs to secure some reinforcements in the next transfer window in December to allow the team to grow and strengthen; it can help save the season."
Xavi has everything to succeed at Barcelona
Barcelona's board decided to sack Ronald Koeman after losing to Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday and although I consider that the Dutch coach was a bit of a "victim" of all this, the truth is that the decision taken at that moment is correct.
As we know, in football you can't just change all the players in the middle of the season, so it's always the coach who pays for bad results and performances and this time it was no different, although the responsibility is not only his.
The board had to give an answer to the fans and the press and naturally ended up being the coach to be replaced, something normal in football.
Change of coach can give the group a boost
Sometimes a change in coach brings improvements as players gain new energy, the environment changes and things tend to go better, especially with Barcelona players somewhat affected and forced to react as the team needs to reverse this very negative situation with poor results happening this season.
Now, Xavi will arrive to command the team and I believe he has been doing a good job there in Qatar, although the reality in the Spanish Championship is totally different.
However, he is someone who knows the club very well, having worked there for many years; he is kind to his teammates and has shown that, in his career, and he seeks to replicate the way he played while wearing the Barcelona shirt, and that will certainly pleasing the crowd.
I think it has everything needed to go well, but of course the board also needs to secure some reinforcements in the next transfer window in December to allow the team to grow and strengthen; it can help save the season.
Giving opportunities for idols has worked before
In recent times it has become more common to see big clubs giving club idols the opportunity to command the main teams, it happened to Zidane at Real Madrid (and it was very successful) or Andrea Pirlo at Juventus (not so well though), but giving the opportunity is the only way possible to understand if that former player can effectively become a great coach.
Xavi doesn't have the greatest experience just yet, but I remember that Pep Guardiola didn't have it either when he took over the club, but it ended up going very well. Yes, Barcelona don't have such a strong squad today, but I believe they can improve.
In addition, Xavi can expect great respect from the group including former teammates like Pique or Sergio Busquets who are sure to be thrilled to have someone they trust a lot to lead them in the future.
Qualifying for Champions League should be the season's first goal
With the club going through such a difficult situation financially, I consider that one of the team's priorities should be to secure a Champions League spot, as the money involved can be important in the club's recovery.
In addition, the club also has the objective of at least qualifying for the Round of 16 of the Champions League this season, as they are battling with Benfica for the second place in the group and it only depends on themselves to achieve that. All of this can be important to give the board some peace of mind in financial terms.
But I think that even the Spanish title is not completely out of sight. They only need to start to win again and take away the pressure that the players are feeling, then everything can change. So, let's hope that Xavi can really bring new life to this team still this season.
Falcao is flying in his final playing days
The veteran Colombian striker Radamel Falcao ended up scoring the winning goal for Rayo Vallecano against Barcelona, which ended up with the dismissal of Koeman, once again showing all his quality as top scorer.
At age of 35, and not knowing how he will be physically in the near future, playing at an intermediate club in Spain takes a lot of responsibility off his shoulders and helps him to play with more peace of mind.
He has scored four times in six matches and is showing all his quality, but it is not certain that he would be able to return to a bigger club nor if that's what he wants to.
Playing for a bigger club would implicate much more responsibility and at an older age he can feel difficulties to meet the needs of scoring goals and achieving titles.
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