Barcelona players forced to ‘retire’ from padel

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez. Photo by Shutterstock.

Spanish giants Barcelona have left their players with no choice but to place their rackets at the back of the closet.

Recent club directives have them shelving their rackets for the foreseeable future. Fresh off their summer tour in the United States, the club’s brass dropped the news: all padel activities are now off the table for the squad, according to Spanish outlet Sport.

Previously, many in the Barca squad considered padel an ideal way to spend their downtime. The convenience factor was undeniable, with several players boasting personal courts right in their housing complexes. These informal matches were less about fierce competition and more about a leisurely volley, a way to limber up and keep the muscles engaged. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.

The end of summer saw a pivotal update to the club’s internal code of conduct. The technical team, in their dedication to ensuring top performance and minimal injury risk, penned down the prohibition of padel.

While padel hadn’t been expressly greenlit before, its omission from the earlier ‘prohibited activities’ list left room for interpretation – a loophole that many players happily took advantage of.

While the logic behind minimizing injury risk is sound and the reason behind the change, it has left players with the singular option of catching the World Padel Tour on screens, a far cry from the courts they so enjoyed.