“They don’t do it at Barcelona” Former La Masia midfielder Xavi Simons named one training method Barca don’t do.
Xavi Simons, a former Barcelona prospect, has drawn attention to the disparities between the training approaches used at the club’s La Masia academy and his former squad, Paris Saint-Germain.
Simons was once anticipated to rise through the ranks of La Masia as the next big thing. The Dutch star had enrolled in Barça’s academy in 2010 and was moving through the ranks quickly.
He took the decision to leave the Blaugrana in 2019 and sign with Paris Saint-Germain, where he eventually broke through to the first squad. He played for Les Parisiens for three years, however he only made 11 senior appearances.
Simons left PSG this past summer and is now thriving for Dutch powerhouse PSV Eindhoven after joining them on a free transfer. In fact, he has scored ten goals and assisted four others in 19 games for the team.
The 19-year-old discussed how his time at Barcelona and PSG helped prepare him for the big stage in a recent interview (h/t Mundo Deportivo), highlighting in particular the hard gym work that was done at the French team.
“I needed a way to protect myself during games. Believ me when I say that Barça players spend more time working with the ball than in the gym. I discovered the differences when I joined PSG. They worked out in the gym at PSG.
I discovered the differences when I joined PSG. They worked out at the gym at PSG. I could clearly see the contrasts since the French league was so tough, he remarked.
Given that Simons’ contract with PSG was about to expire, a recent return to Barcelona had been suggested. He ultimately decided to join PSV, and so far, the decision has been successful for him.
Barcelona might potentially face Simons and PSV at some point in the competition as a result of their slide to the UEFA Europa League.