Ansu Fati has lauded manager Xavi Hernandez for bringing about a mentality change at Barcelona that has seen them make their way up the La Liga table.

Speaking at a charity event on Monday, as relayed by Tribal Football, Barcelona prodigy Ansu Fati has credited manager Xavi Hernandez for the mentality change that the club have gone through in recent months.

Barcelona were somewhat in freefall under Ronald Koeman. They were languishing in the ninth place in the La Liga standings when Xavi replaced the Dutchman as the permanent manager in November 2021. After a fairly slow start, things have picked up brilliantly for the Catalan giants under their club legend.

Barcelona have strung together a 15-game unbeaten run in the league. It has seen them rise from the ninth to the second spot in the table, with an outside chance of beating Real Madrid to the title.

At the same time, the Blaugrana have also progressed to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League. They will be playing Eintracht Frankfurt in the second leg on Thursday for a spot in the penultimate stage of the competition.

The style of play has seen a massive improvement, the results are also positive, while the players have also shown a strong mentality, as was visible in their last league game against Levante, when they came back from a goal down to win 3-2, courtesy of a stoppage-time winner from Luuk de Jong.

And, Fati has claimed that the appointment of Xavi as manager has changed things for the better at the club, with the 42-year-old helping transform the players’ mentality. “The change of coach has been very good for us, the players have a more hard-working mentality,” he said.

The 19-year-old has had a torrid time with injuries over the past 18 months or so. Having missed almost the entirety of the 2020/21 season, Fati has just played ten times this term and is still recuperating from an injury. However, the Spanish international insisted that he was close to making a return.

“I’m working, I hope that soon I’ll be able to be with the team. I don’t know when I’ll be back, I’ll see day by day and depending on the sensations, I’ll decide with the coach and the trainers. Little by little. The last relapse was a hard moment, the club supported me at all times and I have been very calm because they have been by my side. Getting injured is the worst, but you always have to look forward,” he said.

Ansu Fati has returned to training recently and could be back in contention for Barcelona’s next La Liga game against Cadiz.

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