Infallibility is the challenge that Xavi Pascual establishes in the daily tasks of all those who wear the Barça handball shirt in recent years. The superiority of his team in Spain is so overwhelming and incontestable that the main risk is that his players fall into the routine, accuse a bad day or get distracted. It is not the case. This Monday, with its 37-21 win against Puente Genil, Barça has achieved its 11th league title in a row, the 28th in total, in a season in which they have accumulated 28 league games and as many victories. It takes 13 points to the second classified, Bidasoa.
Pascual (Barcelona, 53 years old), exporter, coach of the Barça team since he relieved Manolo Cadenas in February 2009, goes round and round to inoculate his players with his conviction: “We have to play 100% because everyone he wants to beat Barça and we want to avoid it ”. In La Liga they have achieved that goal since they lost for the last time, on April 14, 2018, against Granollers at the Palau Blaugrana (28-29). “It was almost like winning a title,” recalls Adrià Figueras, the scorer of seven goals, one of the heroes of that Granollers triumph.
Since then, they have only given up one draw, against Logroño, on March 27, 2019. Their dominance is similar in the rest of Spanish competitions. The last title he lost was the Copa del Rey in the 2012-2013 season after losing in the semifinals to the late Atlético de Madrid. The difference in budgets in the Spanish championship is enormous. That of Barça is around nine million euros; that of Bidasoa, second classified, barely exceeds one million euros.
“It is a special triumph because the season has been atypical. I’m happy because in the end people have been able to come, “said Pascual after celebrating the victory in the League together with the squad and group of spectators (268) who were able to watch the game from the stands, limited due to the pandemic. The Barça coach said he shared the victory with the fans who had not been able to go to the Palau and with the players who could not summon for the game in a season in which he had 25, several of them from the quarry. He regretted that next season he will not be able to count on Palmarsson, the Icelandic full-back who, having failed to reach an agreement with the Barça club, has signed for Danish Aalborg. Pascual explained that he was interested in sportsmanship that Palmarsson will continue in the team, but the club did not sign the verbal agreement it had reached with the 30-year-old player.
Barça transfers the challenge of winning everything to the Champions League where some clubs exceed or have budgets similar to theirs. Also in that competition he has achieved an absolute record by winning the 14 games of the regular phase, to which must be added the two that he had to play in a round of 16 that the International Federation has forced him to play after changing the rule. that classified the first classified directly for the quarters. The Belarusian Meshkov Brest will be the rival that Barça will play against for the Final Four. If he manages to qualify, he will try to remove the thorn from his defeat in the final, in December against Kiel, in the edition corresponding to last season that was postponed due to the pandemic.