• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Xavi makes U-turn, to remain Barcelona coach until June 2025

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Xavi Hernández has opted to remain as Barcelona coach until the end of his contract in 2025, reversing his earlier decision to step down at the end of the season.

The 44-year-old had declared his intention to leave the role in January, citing a series of disappointing outcomes and the toll it had taken on his mental well-being.

However, following discussions with President Joan Laporta, Xavi has committed to honouring his contractual obligations with the Catalan club.

Appointed as Barcelona coach in 2021, Xavi guided the team to their first LaLiga title in four years last season. He had previously extended his contract until June 30, 2025, with the option for an additional year.

Barcelona’s form declined in December and January, suffering defeats to Girona, Real Madrid, Athletic Club, and Villarreal, which led to their elimination from the Spanish Super Cup and Copa del Rey.

Although a 5-3 loss to Villarreal prompted Xavi’s announcement of his impending departure, it also spurred a resurgence on the pitch. Barça embarked on a 13-game unbeaten streak across all competitions, with club officials expressing their desire for Xavi to continue during this period.

Despite recent setbacks, including a Champions League quarterfinal exit at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain and a defeat to Real Madrid in El Clásico, Barcelona’s stance on Xavi remained unchanged. Sources indicate that the club remained hopeful that Xavi would reconsider his decision.

In addition to his previous accomplishments and the development of young talents such as Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsí, Barcelona’s financial circumstances factored into their desire to retain Xavi as coach.

Although other candidates were considered, including Rafa Márquez, Hansi Flick, and Thomas Tuchel, the board reaffirmed their preference for Xavi during discussions on Wednesday. A final agreement was reached following a meeting between Xavi and Laporta later that day.