Xavi ended Barcelona's four-year wait for silverware in the 2022-23 season with success in both La Liga and the Supercopa de Espana. On the field, at least, things are going well at Spotify Camp Nou and there is a relatively optimistic feeling to what has been achieved by the legendary former Blaugrana midfielder since he returned to Catalonia.
However, the approaching 2023-24 campaign will be challenging for Xavi as he seeks to build upon that encouraging start with his squad changing once again after another busy summer. The 43-year-old has seen an era end with Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba both moving on to join Lionel Messi in Miami.
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Ousmane Dembele has secured a move to Paris Saint-Germain while Franck Kessie is on the verge of joining Al-Ahli. Ilkay Gundogan, Inigo Martinez and Oriol Romeu, though, have all arrived on free transfers with Barca set to be busy in the final few weeks of this summer's transfer window.
UEFA Champions League and then Europa League disappointment was a bitter pill to swallow last term so it is something that Xavi and his players will be looking to improve upon. The arrival of Gundogan will help in that respect with the UCL-winning captain from Manchester City's recent success hungry to challenge himself again with a new club in a new league.
The move has also reunited the Germany international with former Borussia Dortmund teammate Robert Lewandowski and also allowed him to live out a dream: "It was not necessarily a need but honestly wearing the badge was a dream since I was a child," .
"I remember the Barca teams that I watched when I was a kid. Even when Pep Guardiola was manager there, I was already a professional but I still loved to watch his Barca teams playing soccer. It was always the biggest dream for me to represent Barcelona and I was actually close a couple of times, once when Pep was still there."
Consecutive Spanish titles would be a significant achievement despite the club's financial pressures and that will certainly be the aim domestically. Antoine Griezmann, Nico Gonzalez, Trincao and Samuel Umtiti's departures free up further funds to continue to rebuild around the likes of Lewandowski who is not hiding his ambitions ahead of the upcoming season.
The 34-year-old scored 23 times in La Liga after leaving Bayern Munich following eight glittering years in Bavaria which was crowned by UCL success in 2020 and Lewandowski is keen to deliver at the highest level again: "It is always difficult to say but of course, the Champions League is very important in our minds,".
"Not only La Liga, Copa del Rey, but the UCL is on our minds. I think that if we speak in January before the second part of the Champions League then I might be able to say more because you always need a bit of luck. You need the players to be fit and if there is a moment where you have like five or six injuries at the same time in the season then it can put you out of the championship.
"It was difficult and almost impossible to show our best ability but this year will probably be much better. I believe this because we have huge potential and many great players so we can think about a very good Champions League campaign as a team."
Barcelona picks and predictions
League finish: 1st
Player of the season: Gavi
Top scorer: Robert Lewandowski, 25 goals