There has been plenty of focus on Barcelona in recent weeks. Xavi Hernandez and his players have been under pressure from all quarters of the media for their performances, which have been below par over the last three matches.
This is despite winning their last two La Liga matches (vs Real Sociedad and Alaves), although neither win was convincing. As such, media scrutiny has been high, and Xavi admitted that this has affected his players.
Inigo Martinez, who joined Barcelona during the summer having spent the entirety of his career beforehand in the Basque country (at Real Sociedad and then Athletic Club), told Sport that he has not experienced this level of scrutiny before, as per Sport.
“It’s different. It has nothing to do with Barcelona’s representation worldwide. The pressure of always having to win, the controversies, the comments from people. The important thing is to be united because the group is the group. We have no doubt that the fans will be there, behind us.
“We all want to big games, to win 5-0 but the opponent also plays. It may not be your day and it gets complicated. Getting through these games and sticking with them until the end counts for a lot. Winning with pride, as in the last few games, is important.”
It certainly has been a tough period for Barcelona, but with a trip to Vallecas after the international break, it doesn’t get easier. A win and good performance will be required to get the media off their back somewhat.