Xavi announces Barcelona exit after relationship with board ‘reached a point of no return’ amid on field struggles

When Xavi was appointed as Barcelona’s manager to replace Ronald Koeman, there was hope. Fans believed that Xavi, being a La Masia graduate, would understand what it means to manage Barcelona.

After winning La Liga last season, there was optimism that it marked the beginning of a new era for Barcelona under Xavi Hernandez. However, their form has taken a significant hit this season. They have already been eliminated from the Copa Del Rey, missed out on the Super Copa, and currently find themselves trailing league leaders Real Madrid by a margin of 10 points.

Xavi announces Barcelona departure

Barcelona’s struggles under Xavi persisted and following their 5-3 loss to Villarreal in La Liga yesterday, he declared in the post-match interview that he would be stepping down as the manager at the end of the season.

“From June 30 I will not continue as Barca coach … as a Barca fan, I think the club needs a change of dynamic,”Thinking as a club man, I think the best thing is for me to go … I will give my all in the four months that are left, I think we can have a good season and I hope the dynamic changes.” Xavi told reporters.

When Xavi took charge from Dutchman Ronald Koeman in November of the 2021/22 season, Barcelona was positioned ninth in the standings. At that time, they had only accumulated 17 points from 12 matches in the league.

However, under Xavi’s leadership, Barcelona made a noteworthy recovery, ultimately finishing the season in the second position. The next season he led Barcelona to a doemstic double, winning the league title and the Supercopa.

Xavi’s announcement comes as a bit of a surprise considering the support he received from club president Laporta a few days back.

Barcelona’s performance under Xavi this season

In the previous season, Barcelona established themselves as a formidable force in the league. While they faced disappointments in European competitions by dropping to the Europa League from the UEFA Champions League and being eliminated in the Round-of-16 by Manchester United, their domestic performance was impressive. They defeated Real Madrid in the league, clinched the title with a 10-point lead, and conceded only 20 goals in 38 games.

However, the rock-solid defense from the previous season seems to be absent this time around, with Barcelona already conceding 29 goals in 21 league games. They currently trail Real Madrid by 10 points, having lost to them twice – once in the league with a 2-1 score and again in the 4-1 defeat in the Super Copa final.

Adding to their woes, Barcelona was eliminated from the Copa Del Rey in a 4-2 defeat against an energetic Athletic Bilbao side, courtesy of late goals from brothers Inaki and Neco Williams.

Barcelona’s form this season has been very inconsistent.

Continentally, Barcelona have been decent, as they got 12 points in their Champions League group, finished first and will now face Napoli in the RO16.

It would be very interesting to see who Barcelona choose to appoint as a coach after Xavi’s departure. Names such as Julian Nagelsmann and Jurgen Klopp have been brought up, after the latter recently announced that he was going to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

How do you rate Xavi’s tenure at Barcelona? Let us know in the comments below!

SZ Desk

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