Xavi Hernandez He is the coach who, despite a few setbacks, managed to free Barça from a rampant sporting crisis (at all levels) and brilliantly win the last league, to which was added the Spanish Super Cup against their biggest rival. , the real Madrid.
Miguel Ángel Sánchez, known as Michel since his football beginnings in Vallecas, is in his third season at Girona. In the first he managed to rise to the highest category; in the second case, a more than pleasant release; and in the third he makes an entire city dream by sharing deputy leadership with Real Madrid.
Both technicians Faces will be on display this Sunday (9 p.m.). in an exciting Catalan derby. Xavi and Míchel have a lot in common and also some logical differences, but above all they are united by their vocation for attacking football and their love of good football. The duel on the bench will also be an exciting duel.
Xavi Hernández is 43 years old and Míchel was born in 1975, so he is seven years older. Their football careers were productive, although they only faced each other on the field six times. The first, when the man from Terrassa played for the Barça reserve team and Míchel was already in Rayo’s first team, the 1998/1999 season at the Mini Estadi (1-0) and the last, more than a decade later, the 2011 campaign. /2012 at Camp Nou. Barça defeated the Vallecanos 4-0 and Xavi provided the first assist for Alexis.
Both were midfielders with excellent technical quality and game vision. Xavi, more organizer – although he scored a lot of goals, 85 as a Barça player – and Míchel, more “loose verses”, but also a lot of collective feeling.
4-3-3 with alternatives
Their past as a footballer is noticed in their teams. The two mostly use the 4-3-3 as a tactical system, although the Girona coach tends to turn to the alternatives of a three-inside defense, which Xavi has also experimented with.
What unites them most is the desire to achieve the opponent’s goal through elaboration. For Barça, playing well is practically a requirement, the only way to win. In Girona they are amazed by the spectacle that the red and white team offers, it is a pleasure to watch them play.
Without going any further, Míchel’s men are the team that has scored the most goals this season, 34 in 15 games (6 more than Barça and one more than Real Madrid).
Although both teams have attack as their main argument, they also take care of the defensive aspects. In this sense, Barça stood out in the last league, conceding only 20 goals. This season, the Blaugranas have already received 14 players, but it is still 4 fewer than Girona (18).
Technical draw last season
It is the third time that Xavi and Míchel have faced each other on the bench. Last season Barça scored 4 points out of 6, but due to the great game and great approach of Girona at the Camp Nou (0-0) we can call it a “technical draw”. The red and white defended like a cat on its stomach and had a chance of winning. Barca too.
Months earlier, Barça had narrowly won (0-1) in Montilivi thanks to a goal from Pedri, a game in which Míchel was sent off. Both are also two character technicians.