Oscar Hernandez hopes for 'solution' to brother Xavi's US visa issues

By Sports Desk July 19, 2022

Caretaker Barcelona boss Oscar Hernandez conceded it will be the "first and last time" he runs a game from the touchlines, after his side's 6-0 win over Inter Miami on Tuesday.

There were six different goal scorers for Barca as they played the opening game of their tour in the United States, with Gavi, Memphis Depay and Ousmane Dembele adding to first half-goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raphinha and Ansu Fati.

With Xavi denied entry into the US reportedly after recent visits to Iran in the past five years with Qatari club Al-Sadd as a player and coach, his assistant was tasked with taking over on match day.

The 45-year-old, who was also an assistant at Al-Sadd, said post-match that he hopes his brother's issues can be resolved quickly, with Barcelona still to play Real Madrid, Juventus and New York Red Bulls.

Nevertheless, he was content with Barca's performance.

"Hopefully it will be my first and last game," Hernandez said. "The situation is not easy for Xavi, but let's hope a solution is found and tomorrow he can be with us.

"We are very happy, because despite being a friendly, things have been seen. Those at the front have been very switched on and deploying mechanisms that we have worked on. We have to create competitiveness and that is how we will grow."

After confirming his transfer from Bayern Munich on Saturday, Robert Lewandowski did not make an appearance but the older Hernandez sibling believes he will an influential addition going forward.

"With his arrival we make a huge leap in quality, because he is a top player in the world," he said.

"The club has made a great effort, but we needed a top player. In addition, he is a footballer with a lot of commitment.

"For Xavi and the coaching staff it is a blessing to have so many forwards, because competitiveness is going to make the team grow.

Hernandez also saved special mention for Ansu Fati, who missed significant amounts of last season due to hamstring injuries.

Along with making it 3-0, the 19-year-old was impressive on Tuesday, providing Barcelona with dynamism they sorely lacked in the last campaign.

"It's like a new signing and a signing at a very high level," the assistant said. "He's growing a lot, physically he's getting better and better and we're very happy, because he's a reference."

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