Why Xavi's departure from Barcelona signals tough road ahead

Why Xavi's departure from Barcelona signals tough road ahead

Festus Chuma 08:06 - 27.05.2024

Xavi Hernández has reflected on his tenure at Barcelona and the challenges ahead as he exits following a 2-1 win over Sevilla.

Not all endings are met with applause and for Xavi Hernández his exit from Barcelona is marked by cautionary words and a sense of unfulfilled potential. 

After ending his tenure with a 2-1 victory over Sevilla, Xavi spoke candidly about his time at the club and the challenges his successor will face.

Goals from Robert Lewandowski and Fermín López secured the win for Barça, with Youssef En-Nesyri scoring for Sevilla. 

Despite the win, the announcement of Xavi’s sacking two days earlier cast a shadow over the victory. 

"I don't think the work we have done has been sufficiently valued considering the adverse situation we came into," Xavi told DAZN. 

"Barça were ninth in the table when we arrived at the end of 2021. We finished second. Then, in the first full season [in charge], we won two trophies [LaLiga and the Spanish Supercopa]."

Xavi's tenure has been a rollercoaster, marked by a swift rise from the depths of the league table to silverware, only to face a season that fell short of expectations.

 "This year has not been at the level required, but it's come down to details in several key games. It's a shame. I am sad, but this is the job of a coach," he reflected.

As Xavi steps down, ESPN has revealed that Hansi Flick is set to take over, with the German coach’s appointment expected imminently.

"They have to know it is a difficult situation, because Barcelona is a difficult club, but also because of the adverse financial situation, above all [LaLiga's] financial fair play rules," Xavi noted.

 "It won't be easy at all. They will suffer and they will need patience because it's a really difficult job. The only thing that can save them is winning, whether they have been part of the club or not [previously]."

Reflecting on his own experience, Xavi added, "I have been looked at through a magnifying glass and a certain level of expectations were generated, because I was part of Barça's best-ever era, which has played against me."

Xavi's journey with Barcelona as a coach began with optimism but ended with mixed emotions. as he initially announced his departure in January, only to reverse his decision in April. However, his fate was sealed in a meeting with club president Joan Laporta last Friday.

"It's not for me to explain the motives, the president has to do that," Xavi continued. "I just have to accept and respect them. The decision is made and there is no looking back. The club is above any person. I wanted to stay on. I get [the decision], I respect it, but it is a shame. The feelings are contradictory because the work has been positive despite not winning trophies this season. I thought we were on a good path and I still think that."

Xavi emphasized the turbulent conditions under which he operated.

 "I have not been able to work with calm. We asked for stability one month ago when we decided to stay. We thought by staying on we had achieved that and we were hungry to work hard, but this is the life of a manager," he noted.

Looking to the future, Xavi remains open to new opportunities but is prioritizing time with his family. 

"I am happy, proud and satisfied with what we have done: 2.5 years and two trophies in the adverse, difficult situation the club is in, that's the reality," he said. 

Xavi leaves Barcelona with a legacy of resilience and a stark warning about the challenges ahead for his successor. 

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