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04.02.2008 13:30

Xavi: the decisive goal scorer

Roger Bogunyà

This Sunday Xavi scored the goal in the 87th minute which won the game against Osasuna and closed the gap on Madrid by three points, thus making it a pretty good weekend for Barça fans.

barxa-depor_05_x3x.jpgHowever, it wasn’t the first time the midfielder has netted a decisive goal.

Xavi has scored crucial goals earlier on this season as well. On 9 December, on matchday 15 in the League, he rounded off Barça’s fight back against Deportivo de la Coruña with a goal in the 70th minute to make it 2-1 after Barcelona had managed to go behind early on. Just like yesterday against Osasuna (1-0), his strike earned some invaluable points for his side.

First match winner in Valladolid

But it was away from the Camp Nou when Xavi first hit a decisive goal. It happened at a crunch time on matchday 15 in the 1998/99 season when Barça was in tenth spot and its coach, Louis Van Gaal, was under a lot of pressure. Barça were playing in Valladolid and the team needed to win.

XAVI9899_lliga.jpgIn the 16th minute the Valladolid goalie César Sánchez could only parry away a Rivaldo strike which straight to Xavi, standing a yard away from the goal line who headed the ball in to make it 1-0. It turned out to be the only goal of the game and a turning point for Barça who by the end of the season were champions.

Next up the Bernabeu

xavi_madrid-fcb_temp0304_bernabeu.jpgAfter that came matchday 34 in the 2003/04 season. Barça were visiting the Santiago Bernabeu and had to win to keep their title hopes alive. Xavi’s strike gave his team victory and Barça finished the season in second place. Plus apart from being important it was also an extremely good goal: Ronaldinho chipped the ball over the Madrid defence in the 86th minute and Xavi fired it home.

Just like the Osasuna one

QM3D0236.jpgXavi’s goal in the Bernabeu was similar to the one he scored on Sunday. In both cases the game had looked like ending in a draw, which was not a good enough result for Barça, and Xavi’s goals came right at the end of the match, leaving the opposition with little time to do anything about it. Both were also first time strikes from the Barça midfielder.
Xavi: the decisive goal scorer
Valdés makes his debut as captain
Víctor Valdés was the Barça captain against Osasuna for the first time in an official match. His debut was marked by an intense, nail-biter of a game but one which fortunately had a happy ending.

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