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Xavi Hernandez urges Barcelona only to arrange friendlies against lower level sides

Barcelona returned to training this Monday as they look to recover their sharpness, with just under four weeks to go until they return to action against Espanyol on the 31st of December. The Blaugrana may play friendlies ahead of that match, but they will not come against top teams, if Xavi Hernandez has anything to do with it.

The majority of Europe’s top level clubs are slowly returning to training as they begin preparation for a unique season, following a seven-week break for the World Cup.

There had been talk of friendlies against Arsenal in London and Juventus in Turin in the final days before the Espanyol match to get match fit, but Sport say this idea was born in the offices rather than on the training ground.

Xavi and his technical team have decided that Barcelona would be better off remaining at home and building back up to the rhythm of competition at the Ciutat Esportiva. While it is not ruled out that the Azulgrana may play a friendly, it is much more likely to be against more modest, local opposition, and could even take the form of Barcelona Atletic.

With many players arriving back from the World Cup in dribs and drabs as they are eliminated, it was considered that the exertion of friendly matches against top sides and travel were not ideal. Although the plans have not been set in stone for the final weeks of December, it seems unlikely they will play a high-profile friendly.

It is no surprise that the club were keen to potentially generate a few extra million euros form potential big name friendlies. However coaches often appreciate the time to work with their team far more, even if much of it will be fitness work. Xavi, if he does not already have the final say, will have to convince Joan Laporta that the benefits for the team in the title race weigh heavier at the end of the season rather than in those friendlies.

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