Xavi on verge of Guardiola’s Barcelona record
A healthy lead at the top of LaLiga Santander and a eye on Pep Guardiola’s milestone, things are going well for Barça’s new coach.
Xavi Hernández’s Barcelona has started 2023 on fire. Among the victories, they have already won a title, the Spanish Super Cup, reached the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, and have an eight-point cushion over Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga. It’s a situation that allows him, maybe with some caution, to be compared to the records of some rather impressive Barça teams in recent decades.
How Xavi’s Barcelona compares
As it stands, Barça have ten consecutive victories: five in LaLiga, three in the Copa and two in the Super Cup. OK, some may argue that the Saudi semi-final against Betis actually ended in a draw (2-2) after extra time, but as Barça ended up going through to the final, that’s still a win.
It all started against Intercity in the domestic cup (3-4), and that was followed by Atlético Madrid (0-1), the aforementioned Betis (2-2) in the Super Cup, then Real Madrid (1-3) in the final. Next up was Ceuta (0-5) in the Copa, Getafe (1-0), Real Sociedad (1-0) in the Copa quarters, Girona (0-1), Betis (1-2) and Sevilla (3- 0). No mean feat.
If Xavi’s men manage to beat Villarreal in the league this Sunday, he will equal Pep Guardiola’s record of consecutive victories, which stands at eleven, achieved in his first season (2008/09). The then boss oversaw Sporting Lisbon (3-1), Sporting Gijón (1-6), Betis (3-2), Espanyol (1-2), Shakthar Donetsk (1-2), Atlético (6-1), Athletic (0-1), Basel (0-5), Almería (5-0), Benidorm (0-1) and Málaga (6-0). This spectacular run, which lasted almost two months, ended at home against Basel (1-1) in the Champions League group stage.
And as Mister Chip highlights, Xavi also has a very admirable points record from his first 46 games.
What is Barcelona’s longest run of consecutive wins?
It is, of course, still very early days for the man who used to star in Guardiola’s stunning midfield and now stands in the Camp Nou dugout. And the absolute record of consecutive victories at the club is still some distance away. That honour goes to Frank Rijkaard who managed the team to 17 wins in a row in a single season: from October 22, 2005 to January 22, 2006 winning without interruption. The complete list of opponents his team overcame is: Osasuna, Málaga, Real Sociedad, Panathinaikos, Getafe, Real Madrid, Werder Bremen, Racing Santander, Villarreal, Udinese, Sevilla, Cádiz, Celta, Zamora, Espanyol, Zamora, Athletic and Alavés. The team that finally put an end to this brilliant run was Zaragoza, in the first leg of the Copa del Rey at La Romareda (4-2).
If Xavi is to reach this impressive milestone, Barça would have to really go some, given that the likes of Manchester United, in the Europa League tie, and Real Madrid, in the Copa semi-final, stand in their way.
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