Xavi announces he will step down as Barça coach at the end of the season

The announcement came at a press conference, shortly after the Catalans’ defeat against Villarreal (5-3), Saturday January 27, for the 22nd day of La Liga.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial



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Xavi Hernandez before the Copa del Rey match between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, January 24, 2024. (AFP)

Drama in Barcelona. Under pressure for several weeks, FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez announced on Saturday January 27 that he would leave the Catalan club at the end of the season, just a few minutes after his team’s heavy defeat at home against Villarreal ( 5-3).

“On June 30, I will leave the club, it is a decision that I took with the president, with the staffdeclared the former midfielder at a press conference, while he had extended his contract until 2025. I think the situation needs to change and, as a Barça fan, I cannot accept the current situation […] The club needs a change in dynamic. I think of the club, the players… They play with enough tension. It’s best if I go.”

The announcement concludes a difficult week for the Barcelonans, eliminated from the Copa del Rey after their defeat in overtime against Bilbao (4-2), and therefore fell from high at home against Villarreal. They are now ten lengths behind their eternal rival, Real Madrid, leader of Liga.

The former captain of the Barcelona team arrived on the Catalan bench to succeed Ronald Koeman and lead his first match on November 20, 2021, after a first coaching experience in the Qatari club Al Sadd. Barça was then in difficulty on the pitch (9th in La Liga), but also in the middle of an economic and financial crisis, with a debt exceeding a billion euros, cash flow and payroll problems.

In just under three seasons, he has led the team to 75 victories in 122 matches (21 draws and 26 defeats) and to the conquest of a 14th Spanish Super Cup as well as the league title in 2023, the first since 2019. His announcement comes a few days after another top manager, Jürgen Klopp, also formalized his departure from Liverpool at the end of the season.

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