Xavi has announced that he will leave his position as Barcelona coach at the end of the current campaign.
The club’s former captain and midfield icon confirmed the news following Saturday’s 5-3 home defeat to Villarreal, a result that left the team ten points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid and eight points behind. Catalan neighbor, Girona.
It was a result that added to the 4-1 Spanish Super Cup final defeat to Real Madrid earlier this month and comes days after Barcelona were knocked out of the Copa del Rey following a quarter-final defeat. against Athletic Bilbao.
“I have decided that I will not continue beyond June 30,” Xavi said after Saturday’s game. “It is a common sense decision for the good of the club.
“I made this decision days ago. I already knew. But it’s time to make it public.
“I think the players couldn’t free themselves. “I don’t want to be a problem for the club, quite the opposite.”
Xavi added: “Right now, if I think with my head and think about the club, the solution and the best thing is that I leave in June, that’s how I feel.
“We have just agreed with the president (Joan Laporta). We have a president who is brilliant. He, Rafa Yuste, (sports director), Deco…they are all really capable.
“I think this decision will help unlock the team and the morale here.
“I just told President Laporta now. We had a meeting, it was a very human conversation, just with common sense. Their confidence is still fantastic.
“But I think this is the time to say this. I don’t make my decisions based on money, my contract will never be a problem.
“I just make my decisions following my heart. I do not need anything else”.
Xavi revealed that he had not told his team before making his announcement to the media on Saturday night.
“It’s cruel work, it wears you out,” added Xavi.
“In Barcelona you always feel like they don’t value you, they mistreat you, that’s how the club works.
“From a mental health point of view, it’s also difficult.
“I’m a positive person, but the battery levels keep draining and at some point you realize there’s no point in staying.”
Xavi, 44, was appointed to Barcelona’s management in November 2021 as Ronald Koeman’s permanent successor, and guided the club to the La Liga title in his first full season at the helm.
However, he also oversaw the club’s elimination in consecutive Champions League group stage campaigns and Barcelona also struggled in the Europa League, losing the quarter-finals against Frankfurt in 2022 and in the knockout round against Manchester United the following campaign.
Barcelona advanced through the Champions League group stage this campaign but was marked by disappointing defeats to Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp, while the team has been unable to replicate the good form that saw them secure the league title. in 2022-23.
The club was defeated in the first Clásico of the season at home to Real Madrid, while Barcelona was also recently defeated 4-2 at home to Catalan neighbor Girona.
Barcelona – Villarreal 3-5 – Xavi announces his departure after a dramatic defeat
Xavi’s team have also lost points against Getafe, Mallorca, Granada, Rayo Vallecano, Valencia and Villarreal this season, seeing themselves fall to third place in the standings behind Real Madrid and Girona.
Xavi ended Barcelona’s run of three seasons without a league title after the club’s well-documented financial problems had a detrimental impact on their squad, with Lionel Messi among their high-profile player departures.
The summer of 2022 proved to be a turning point as club president Joan Laporta used a series of ‘levers’, the ‘economic levers’ to sell future income streams in exchange for large, but discounted, upfront payments. , which allowed the club to strengthen. his squad.
Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen were among the high-profile arrivals in that summer transfer window, and helped propel the club to the league title. — which was assured with four games remaining.
Xavi also guided Barcelona to the Spanish Super Cup last season, but a drop in his performances and results this season ensures he will not continue beyond June 30, despite having signed a new contract until 2025, with the option of a another year, in September. 2023.
Having played 767 games for Barcelona as a player — only Messi (778) has more — Xavi initially joined Qatari club Al Sadd in 2015 before being appointed coach in 2019, winning the national league title in 2021.
Xavi’s position at Barcelona: from winning the League to fighting for his future
(Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)