Xavi Hernández revealed his decision to leave his position as coach of Barcelona after this season, expressing a sense of “relief” in moving on from a role he deemed “harsh and unpleasant.”
Even though his contract technically lasts until the following summer, the former captain and midfield legend will not be staying beyond June 30 of this year. He believes that the club needs a new direction and that he cannot let the current situation continue, as the team is facing a crisis in terms of both results and performance. He described his decision as common sense and stated that, as a fan of Barcelona, he believes he is doing what is best for the team by leaving.
Xavi expressed that you may frequently experience a sense of disrespect and lack of appreciation for your work. This can have a negative impact on your health, mental well-being, mood, and emotional state. As someone who is generally optimistic, the constant feeling of being worn down can eventually lead to a point of feeling like it is pointless to continue. This is the explanation for how he feels.
“I made this decision a while back and those closest to me are aware of it. This situation is currently impacting the club, and although it also affects me, I believe it’s best for me to leave when it affects the club.”
Xavi announced the news after having a personal conversation with the club’s president, Joan Laporta, following a 5-3 loss at home to Villarreal, which put them 10 points behind the top team in the league, Real Madrid. However, he disclosed that he had already made the decision a few days prior. Xavi stated that he had not informed the players, who had been playing under a lot of pressure, and emphasized that he had no intention of staying on even if Barcelona were to win the Champions League. He also mentioned that there would be no issues regarding his contract.
Barcelona suffered a 4-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey this week, leading to their elimination from the tournament. This came after a 4-1 defeat to Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final. They had also let in four goals against Girona right before Christmas. The coach stated, “This choice will assist in releasing the team’s burden.”
After over an hour following the end of the game on Saturday night, Xavi finally arrived in the press conference room. He made an announcement, stating that he will not continue as the coach of Barcelona on June 30th. He revealed that he had discussions with the president, vice-president Rafa Yuste, adviser Alejandro Echevarria, sporting director Deco, and some members of the staff.
“I am a fan of Barcelona and I believe that the current situation needs to be addressed. I made this decision several days ago, but now is the time to announce it publicly. I do not want to cause any problems for the club. My decision is based on what I believe is best for the club, its players, and its directors. As someone who is loyal to the club, I have decided to leave on June 30th. However, I am committed to giving my all during these last four months and believe that we can still have a successful season. I have thought about this decision carefully and believe it is the most sensible option.”
In November 2021, Xavi succeeded Ronald Koeman and guided Barcelona to the league championship in his debut full season. However, their current season has been marked by underwhelming performances and outcomes. When asked for an explanation, Xavi stated that he was unable to provide one. He also acknowledged that reporters had previously inquired if he could emulate Alex Ferguson’s long tenure at Barcelona, but he dismissed the idea as impossible in this environment.