La Liga: Xavi set to part ways with Barcelona FC

FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández has announced that he will leave the club at the end of the current season.

Madrid, Jan 29 (IANS) FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández has announced that he will leave the club at the end of the current season.

Xavi made his announcement in the post-game press conference at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys following his side’s chaotic 5-3 defeat at home to Villarreal, which once saw them claw their way back with goals from Gerard Moreno and Ilias Akhomach.

‘I want to be a solution for Barça’, coach Xavi Hernández told club president Joan Laporta, vice-president Rafa Yuste and Sporting Director Deco of his decision to leave his post as first team coach at the end of the season. “I had taken days ago but today was the moment to announce it,” he said.

Xavi reiterated that one of his main motives was his love for the club: “I don’t want to be a problem. I want to be a solution for Barça as I was two years ago.” A Barça legend as a player, Xavi knows FC Barcelona better than anyone and is convinced that the team need now “a change in direction.”

Xavi said that his departure at the end of the season “takes the tension out of the situation and gives the dressing room, the staff and the club a bit of room to change the dynamic.”

“I think the players could not free themselves up. I don’t want to be a problem for the club, but the opposite. Right now, if I think with my head and think about the club, the solution and the best thing is for me to leave in June, that is how I feel.

“I think this decision will help unblocking the team and the mood in here. I just told the president (Joan) Laporta now. We’ve had a meeting, it was a very human conversation, just with common sense. The trust from them is still fantastic.

“But I believe this is the moment to say this. I don’t make my decisions following money, my contract will never be a problem. I just make my choices following my heart. I don’t need anything more.”

Nevertheless, there are four months to go until the end of the season and the Catalan coach made it clear that he still has the energy to fight for silverware this season: “In these four months I will give everything. I’ll try to give my all to try and win the league. I still think we can do it.” He confessed that even if the team does win a trophy, “the decision is made and it can’t be changed.”

The 44-year-old said he would not hesitate to resign from the club he used to captain if he no longer felt that his players were behind him.

In their current poor run of form, Barca lost 4-2 to Athletic Club as they crashed out of the Copa del Rey at the quarter-final stage on Wednesday.

Xavi was appointed manager in November 2021, replacing Ronald Koeman in the dugout.

In his first full season in charge, he guided Barca to their first league title since 2019.

However, under Xavi’s stewardship, Barca suffered back-to-back UEFA Champions League eliminations while also exiting the UEFA Europa League at the quarter-final stage and knockout play-off round respectively.

Only Lionel Messi (778) made more appearances than Xavi’s 767 as a Barcelona player.

Girona remain top of La Liga and are 11 points ahead of Barca, as they recovered from their midweek Copa del Rey exit in Mallorca with a 1-0 win away to Celta Vigo on Sunday.

–IANS

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