Xavi has admitted that Marcus Rashford is the hardest participant he has encountered throughout his time as Barcelona head coach.
The legendary Spaniard will take cost of his a centesimal Barca recreation on Wednesday when his facet journey to Porto on matchday two of the Champions League group stage, buoyed by the romping 5-0 win over Royal Antwerp of their first outing.
Barcelona appointed Xavi because the everlasting successor to Ronald Koeman again in November 2021 and his spell up to now has confirmed fruitful, notably main the membership to their first La Liga title in 4 years final season.
One of many questions put to Xavi was to call the ‘most troublesome participant to cease’ throughout his time within the dugout, naming Rashford forward of a Actual Madrid duo.
“Rashford price us loads,” Xavi replied. “Additionally Vinicius, Benzema.”
Barcelona confronted Rashford and Manchester United throughout the knockout spherical play-off of final season’s Europa League.
The Purple Devils earned a 2-2 draw within the first leg at Camp Nou. Marcos Alonso broke the impasse for the hosts simply after half-time, earlier than Rashford turned on the type to equalise virtually instantly.
An personal aim from Jules Kounde put Erik ten Hag’s facet forward, although Barca rallied late on and located a leveller via Raphinha.
Again at Outdated Trafford, Barca re-took the mixture lead after Robert Lewandowski scored from the penalty spot, however second-half strikes from Fred and Antony ensured United progressed to the final 16 as an alternative.
Rashford’s stellar performances in opposition to Barcelona got here halfway via a career-best season for United wherein he would rating 30 objectives in 56 video games, serving to the Purple Devils finish their six-year trophy drought with victory within the Carabao Cup.
The 2023/24 marketing campaign has not been so type to the 25-year-old although, with only a single aim to Rashford‘s identify after seven Premier League outings. His particular person struggles have additionally affected the workforce – Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace extending United’s worst begin to a league season for 34 years.