Xavi Hernández and Sebastián Beccacece meet again on the benches. The Barça and Elche coaches met at Maracanã nine years ago, during Spain's elimination from the World Cup in Brazil in the group stage. Then Beccacece was Sampaoli's second for Chile, while Xavi saw the world champion fall 0-2, the day Del Bosque decided to sit him on the bench, which would end up triggering his goodbye to the national team.

Tonight they meet again at the Martínez Valero. Barça with the league in their pocket, and Elche with relegation. The colista decided to take advantage of the break to change coaches for the sixth time this season, tying Jesus Gil's record with Atletico Madrid in 93/94. The owner of 90% of the shares of Elche, Christian Bragarnik, dismissed Francisco Rodríguez after the first seven days, hired Alberto Gallego for the eighth, Jorge Almirón for the next five, Sergio Mantecón for two, and Pablo Machín for twelve, the same ones that remain to Beccacece until the end of the League, if it arrives.

The Argentine has been chosen by the president, who is also his representative, to take charge not only for the remainder of the season, but to return to ascend to the next, aware that with 13 points, and 14 of salvation, down to Second seems inevitable in the year of its centenary. "Football has very nice moments and others more painful," acknowledged BKCC in his presentation, although willing to squeeze the mathematics: "I think it is possible or, at least, try. In football you have to insist and insist."

Not to exceed 13 points in the remainder of the League, Elche would tie with Sporting de Gijón of the 97/98, the worst colista in history, followed by Logroñés of the 94/95, which reached 15, and then by the so far worst Elche in history, that of the 88/89, which reached 21, that today seem unattainable.

Sampaoli and Beccacece with Leo Messi in Barcelona.Argentina National Team

Xavi Hernández and Beccacece were born in 1980. One in Barcelona and one in Rosario. While the Catalan grew up in the Barça quarry to become the best midfielder in the world, Beccacece, or BKCC, as it is summarized in Argentina, played right back in a club in his city, while selling cleaning products for his father's company, studying to be a physical education teacher, and took the title of coach online.

When Xavi arrived in Barça's first team, Jorge Sampaoli was looking for a second to go and coach in Peru, and BKCC entered his life. Then they would go to clubs in Ecuador and Chile, where they would end up directing the team that took Spain ahead in Brazil. When Barça headed to Qatar, the Argentine debuted alone on the bench of Universidad de Chile, before returning to Sampaoli's side to catch Argentina that would go to the World Cup in Russia. There BKCC would go down in history for giving instructions to Leo Messi in training, which the Argentine did not take well at all. "I had a professional relationship with Leo. I felt very comfortable with him and all the boys. Then things happened, which I prefer to remain in privacy. I told Jorge and I prefer them to stay there," BKCC told Fox shortly after being fired from the national team.

Nor did it end well with Sampaoli, whom fate would have faced in Spain on the penultimate day of the League, who knows if for salvation, if he had not been fired last week from Sevilla. When Xavi began training in Qatar, BKCC achieved what is so far his greatest achievement as a coach, winning the Recopa Sudamericana in the ranks of the Argentine team Defensa y Justicia, which has earned him enough credit for Christian Bragarnik to see him ready to debut in Europe.

Sampaoli and Beccacece with the selection of Chile.Social Networks

His manager and president, who began working in a Chinese supermarket and then in a video store where he began to make videos of footballers he would end up representing, feels identified with a guy who, like him, came to football from nothing and believes in miracles.

Catalan striker Pere Milla also believes he is returning after five weeks out with a collarbone injury. Precisely what Elche has lacked in this League is goal. The 19 he has made him the team that has scored the fewest goals of all European leagues: Southampton in the Premier League, 23, Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, 20, Cremonese in Italy, 22, and Angers 21 in the French league. "We have to be realistic, but here we have experienced things that I have not experienced anywhere. We depended on RC Deportivo-CF Fuenlabrada, who was already on vacation, and in the end we played the playoff. The first year we saved ourselves we depended on twenty caroms. At half-time in Cadiz we were relegated. As long as the math gives, you have to try. This is Elche CF and incredible things happen here," says Milla.

On the arrival of the sixth coach of the season, the striker explains: "A lot of people have passed, this is going as it goes. We are not the ones in charge, and if the boss believes that it is time, then it is time..." And he warns Barça of what can come upon them: "They were with the National Team and we have been preparing for the clash for a week and a half."

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  • Elche CF
  • FC Barcelona
  • Xavi Hernandez
  • Leo Messi