Xavi: Barca have not lost their essence

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Xavi insists Barcelona have not "lost their essence" under Luis Enrique, despite a disappointing start to the LaLiga season.

Barca sit six points adrift of leaders Real Madrid after Sergio Ramos scored a late leveller to prevent the Catalans from closing the gap in a 1-1 Clasico draw on Saturday.

The result means the defending Spanish champions have won just one of their last five matches in all competitions, but former Camp Nou midfielder Xavi sees no cause for alarm, highlighting the difficulty of using young players to deputise for established stars.

"Barca don't look too bad to me," he told RAC 1. "They haven't lost their essence with Luis Enrique.

"What happens is that you look for solutions because it's not the same playing without [Andres] Iniesta, or without [Sergio] Busquets. I can say the same about [Lionel] Messi.

"You have to have patience with players like Andre Gomes or Denis [Suarez]. They have to adapt and that will take time."

Xavi, who now plays for Qatari outfit Al Sadd, added that he would like to see Barcelona work harder to keep former players involved with the club, having seen Gerard Pique express an interest in one day becoming president.

"In future, I'd like Barca to follow the example of Bayern [Munich] with ex-players," he commented. "It's difficult to imagine a future with Pique as president, [Carles] Puyol technical secretary and Xavi as coach.

"But it's not only us. Names like Messi, Iniesta, Victor Valdes... They'd have to go to them."

Barcelona host Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday knowing top spot in Group C is already secured.