FOOTBALL – FC Barcelona’s head coach Xavi Hernández revealed his decision to leave the club on 30 June during a post-match press conference following the team’s defeat against Villarreal.
The announcement comes at a critical juncture for the Blaugrana, who have experienced a series of setbacks, including a recent 4-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Supercopa de España Final and an exit from the Copa del Rey quarterfinals with a 4-2 defeat against Athletic Club.
A solution, not a problem
Xavi, a Barcelona legend both on and off the field, conveyed his decision to Club President Joan Laporta, sporting vice president Rafa Yuest, and Director of Football Deco immediately after the match. He stated that his departure is a proactive step to be a “solution for Barça” rather than a problem, emphasising his love for the club and a desire to contribute positively, much like he did during his illustrious playing career.
During the press conference, Xavi explained that the decision had been on his mind for days, and he believed that now was the opportune moment to make it public. “I want to be a solution for Barça as I was two years ago,” he declared, underlining his commitment to the team’s success. Having spent the majority of his career with Barcelona as a player, Xavi possesses an unparalleled understanding of the club and believes that a change in direction is necessary for its future success.
His decision is final
The coach expressed that his departure at the end of the season aims to relieve tension within the team, providing room for a shift in dynamics. Despite the announcement, Xavi assured fans and the club that he would give his all in the remaining four months of the season, vowing to fight for silverware, including a push for the La Liga title. However, he made it clear that even if the team achieves success, the decision to leave remains final.
FC Barcelona currently sits in 3rd place in La Liga with 44 points, trailing behind 2nd place Girona (52 points) and league leaders Real Madrid (54 points). Recent VAR controversies in favour of Real Madrid have added to the challenges faced by Barcelona. Furthermore, the team has won only three of their last five La Liga matches.
Reflecting on Xavi’s extensive career, both as a player and now as a coach, his influence on and off the field has been immense. As a player, he played a pivotal role in Barcelona’s golden era, contributing to numerous domestic and international triumphs. Now, as a coach, he aimed to instill the same values and success.
Looking ahead, FC Barcelona is still in contention in the UEFA Champions League, leading Group H on goal difference. The team is set to face Napoli in the round of 16, with the first leg scheduled for February 21 and the second leg on March 12. Despite the challenges, Xavi’s legacy at Barcelona remains intact, and his departure signals a significant moment in the club’s history.