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06.04.2008 17:25

Txiki calls for unity and self-esteem

Vanessa Forns

Txiki Begiristain has called on season-ticket holders and fans to show “unity and self-esteem” in Frank Rijkaard’s side, singling out their “ability and competitiveness”.

The technical secretary was at the XXXI World Conference of FC Barcelona Supporters’ Clubs to give a technical/sporting presentation on the current season. Begiristain emphasized the first team’s “undoubtable ability”, as well as its “competitiveness” and “fighting spirit”, three aspects which they must take in to the season’s run-in, in which they are still in with a chance in both the domestic league and the Champions League.

Following the same lines as Joan Laporta, Txiki Begiristain has called on season-ticket holders and fans alike to “regain their self-esteem” and reminded them that in the most crucial part of the season “we must be more united than ever and encourage a team that has shown they are capable of doing it”. Begiristain divided his presentation into three distinct parts: the state of play at the start of the season, the current sporting situation and the future.

Where we are coming from

QM3D4161.jpgOn this point, Begiristain referred to the signings he brought about, bearing in mind their objectives for the new season based on what had happened in the season before, and also the call up of Bojan and Giovanni from the youth set up. Despite mentioning that “it’s not an excuse but you can’t ignore it”, Begiristain did point out that the team “has had a lot of problems with injuries”. He also pointed to a “mental fragility in certain moments when trying to overcome a setback”.

Begiristain also pointed out how well the youth system was working, mentioning the cases of Bojan and Giovani who have both moved into the first team squad and also singled out Víctor Sánchez and Pedrito as examples of the quality in the youth ranks. “We have a great youth team with whom the future of the club is assured”, he added.

Where we are

In his review of the current situation, Begiristain began with their elimination from the King’s Cup at the hands of Valencia in the semi-finals. “It was a tough tournament. We were strong against teams like Seville and Villarreal, and we were knocked out in a semi-final in which we were the better side. The first leg was the key. In the second leg we were affected a bit by a certain fragility.”

With regard to the league, he said that still “nothing has been decided. You have to fight to the end. We’ve seen miraculous end of seasons before. What we have to remember is that we are capable of winning all our remaining games”.

On the Champions League, Begiristain said “we are in a good position”. At the same time he regretted that there is “a certain tendency to belittle our achievements when speaking about the weaknesses of opponents like Celtic or Schalke 04. I’d like if we were all able to appreciate the importance of what we have achieved”.

The future

Speaking about the future, Begiristain explained that “we are analysing the situation from within”. He added that the club “knows how to make decisions”, decisions that are not only made on the basis of results but also on “individual performances”.
Txiki calls for unity and self-esteem

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