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FC Barcelona have now played 15 games with Xavi Hernández as coach. A total of 33 players have featured so far, coming from the first team, as well as the Barça B and Under-18 A teams, enjoying minutes in games in LaLiga, the Champions League, the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup.
On closer examination, eight players stand out for becoming key players for Xavi. These are Ter Stegen (14 games), Sergio (14), Araujo (14), Piqué (14), Jordi Alba (13), Frenkie de Jong (14), Gavi (12) and Nico (15). A blend of youth and experience playing most of the matches.
In fact, the first six on the list have played over 1,000 minutes since Xavi became Barça coach, featuring in at least 13 of the possible 15 matches.
Despite missing two games due to COVID-19 and injury respectively, Gavi doesn't quite reach that mark, having played 932 minutes of 12 games, starting them all.
Nico (881 minutes) is the only player used by Xavi to feature in all of his 15 matches in charge. The Galician midfielder has started 8 times and come off the bench in the other 7 games.
Another stat: discounting games missed due to suspension, injury, or COVID-19, only Sergio (14), Jordi Alba (13) and Gavi (12) have started and played every game when available.
Abde, Dembélé, Èric Garcia and Memphis next on the list
Injuries - particularly in attack - along with COVID-19 issues, made it tough for Xavi to pick an eleven for the games played around the turn of the year, meaning more players were used especially when including the winter transfer window signings.
Xavi Hernández has used 33 players in 15 games across the four competitions played so far“ OPTA STATS
Looking beyond the 8 players mentioned above, Abde (671 minutes, 10 games), Dembélé (661 minutos, 10 games), Èric Garcia (580 minutes, 8 games), Memphis (521 minutes, 7 games) and Ferran Jutglà (464 minutes, 9 games) are the next players on the list.
The first signing of the winter transfer window was Dani Alves, who has played 5 games - 5 starts and 447 minutes - whereas players such as Ferran Torres (4 games, 4 starts, and 345 minutes) or Pedri (4 games, 3 starts, and 335 minutes) are rocketing up the list for minutes played.
The remaining minutes by player are Lenglet (417), Luuk de Jong (404), Óscar Mingueza (349), Sergiño Dest (272), Riqui Puig (232), Ilias (170), Coutinho (114), Umtiti (90), Neto (90), Ansu Fati (89), Demir (72), Adama (61), Álvaro Sanz (43), Aubameyang (29), Braithwaite (15), Estanis Pedrola (10) and Balde (1).
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