Barcelona Parts Ways with Xavi Following Season of Turmoil

Barcelona sacks Xavi

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona has relieved Xavi Hernandez of his managerial duties on Friday, marking the end of a turbulent chapter just four weeks after confirming his continuation for the upcoming season.

The decision draws a conclusion to months of discord between Barcelona and Xavi, a club legend who amassed 767 appearances over 17 seasons and contributed to 25 major trophies.

“In a statement released today, FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta notified Xavi Hernandez that he will not continue as the first team coach for the 2024-25 season,” the club announced.

Barcelona expressed gratitude for Xavi’s coaching tenure and celebrated his illustrious career as a player and team captain, extending best wishes for his future endeavors.

Finishing as runners-up in LaLiga, trailing champions Real Madrid by a significant margin, Barcelona’s season was marred by disappointments, despite Xavi’s earlier declaration of intent to resign at the season’s end.

In a reversal of plans following discussions in April, Xavi agreed to remain with the team, albeit under certain undisclosed conditions set by the club.

Despite securing LaLiga glory in his debut full season as manager, Xavi couldn’t navigate the challenges of the recent campaign, with Real Madrid looming large on the domestic and European fronts.

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Barcelona suffered setbacks, including a resounding defeat in the Spanish Super Cup final, elimination from the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao, and a premature exit from the Champions League at the hands of Paris St Germain.

As Xavi’s tenure concludes, Barcelona’s final match of the season against Sevilla will mark his farewell in LaLiga.

The 44-year-old Xavi assumed the managerial reins at Barcelona on a three-year contract following Ronald Koeman’s departure in 2021.

A product of Barcelona’s renowned La Masia youth academy, Xavi’s playing career saw him claim 31 trophies for both Barcelona and Spain, including the 2010 World Cup, two European Championships, eight LaLiga titles, and four Champions League triumphs.

Having managed Barcelona in 141 matches, securing 89 victories, 23 draws, and 29 losses, Xavi guided the team to their 27th league title last season, ending a four-year drought.

Barcelona’s struggles on the pitch mirror the turbulence off it, with financial woes and a refereeing scandal adding to the club’s challenges.

In March 2023, Spanish prosecutors filed a complaint regarding alleged payments by Barcelona totaling over 7.3 million euros ($7.92 million) to companies owned by former refereeing official Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, with a Barcelona court now handling the case.

Additionally, the club grapples with financial strain stemming from a hefty wage bill, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and a 1.6 billion-euro renovation project for Camp Nou stadium.

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