Barcelona Manager To Step Down As Head Coach
Barcelona Manager To Step Down As Head Coach.
Barcelona’s head coach, Xavi, has announced his decision to step down from his position at the conclusion of the current season. Jurgen Klopp set to leave Liverpool
The esteemed former Barcelona and Spain midfielder assumed the managerial role in November 2021, transitioning from his previous post at Qatari club Al Sadd.
In his inaugural full season at the helm, Xavi successfully led Barcelona to clinch the Spanish title in 2022-23.
However, a setback occurred on Saturday as the team suffered a 5-3 defeat at home against Villarreal, leaving them trailing La Liga leaders Real Madrid by a considerable 10-point margin.
Xavi’s impending departure at the end of the season marks a significant development in Barcelona’s coaching landscape, with the club now set to embark on the search for a new manager to guide them in future campaigns.
“I’ve been a man of the club. I’ve prioritised it above even myself. I’ve given everything I have,” said Xavi.
“And I will continue to do so to make the fans feel proud.”
“I think the club needs a change of dynamic,” said Xavi. “For the good of the players, I believe that they will free themselves. We play with a lot of tension.
“For the good of the board of directors, it is best that I leave. I will give my best. I think all of that will help the dynamic change. This is the message I would like to give. I think I am doing the right thing.”
Earlier this month, Xavi expressed his willingness to “pack his bags” if his players lost faith in him, especially after a 4-1 defeat against arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.
Although Barcelona rebounded with consecutive victories, their subsequent exit from the Copa del Rey against Athletic Bilbao and a further setback in the title race against Villarreal have added strain.
Xavi now articulates that the demands of the job have taken a toll on him, and for the sake of his mental health, he believes the time is right to step back.
The decision is influenced by a recognition of the challenges faced and the need to prioritize his well-being in the face of the ongoing pressures in managing the team.
“In Barcelona, you always feel like you’re not valued, you’re mistreated – that’s how the club works,” he said.
“From a mental-health level, it’s tough too. I am a positive guy, but the battery levels keep running out – and at some point, you realise there’s no point in staying.”
Xavi is optimistic that by revealing his departure at this juncture, it will help to “de-escalate” the current situation for the remainder of the season. This includes an upcoming Champions League last-16 clash against Napoli next month.
The early announcement is seen as a strategic move to ease tensions and provide a sense of stability as the team navigates through the challenges ahead, particularly in the crucial upcoming fixtures.
“I wouldn’t change my decision even if I won the Champions League. I will tell the players tomorrow. I’m the most responsible one, so the players will finally feel free now,” he added.
“I’m not driven by financial matters, but by my heart. I think it’s the best thing for the club.
“I don’t want to be a problem, but a solution, and I believe that between now and June I can still be a solution”
Primarily, Xavi aligns himself as a devoted Barcelona enthusiast and a pragmatic evaluator of the club’s internal dynamics, drawing on his intimate knowledge from within.
Additionally, he is a manager who conscientiously groomed himself for the role of guiding Barcelona. It’s challenging to envision him leading any other team, and the prospect of his managerial career beyond this juncture remains uncertain.
Considering these factors, winning the league was a pivotal moment in his tenure at Barcelona. Rather than leveraging this success to bolster his authority, the club opted to diminish it.
Xavi faced the loss of key figures like sporting director Jordi Cruyff and director of football Mateu Alemany, leaving him in a more isolated position.
It’s worth recalling that Xavi wasn’t the preferred choice of club president Joan Laporta. Initially aligned with candidate Victor Font during the elections, Xavi assumed the managerial role at a time when the fans perceived the need for a legendary figure amid crisis and confusion.
While Laporta envisaged a gradual integration, suggesting a stint with the B side, Xavi insisted on leading the first team. There remained a lingering skepticism on Laporta’s part.
As the players, under Xavi’s tutelage, should have progressed significantly after three years, individual performances seem to have regressed, and a collective identity is elusive.
Xavi now faces the task of evaluating whether this outcome reflects his own shortcomings or if the circumstances were not conducive for his success.
Given his considerable success as a player, Xavi isn’t driven by an urgent pursuit of managerial success. If his desire for it is not fervent, it raises questions about whether he was truly prepared for the challenges that come with managing Barcelona.
This introspective analysis will likely be a critical aspect of Xavi’s considerations moving forward.