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Xavi sacked as Barcelona head coach

Xavi sacked as Barcelona head coach
© Reuters
Barcelona reportedly sack La Liga-winning head coach Xavi and are set to replace the Spaniard with Hansi Flick.

Barcelona have sacked La Liga-winning head coach Xavi and are set to replace the Spaniard with Hansi Flick.

The 44-year-old - who led La Blaugrana to top-flight glory in the 2022-23 season - initially informed the public that he planned to step down from his position in January after a 5-3 loss to Villarreal.

Barcelona hit a rich vein of form after Xavi's announcement, though, and the former Blaugrana midfielder eventually had a change of heart after conversations with president Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco.

However, only a couple of weeks on from confirming that he would stay at the club, Xavi apparently found himself in hot water with Laporta, who was irked by comments that the Spaniard made about Barcelona's financial situation and La Liga title chances for 2024-25.

Xavi affirmed that he was still planning for the upcoming season as head coach, though, as several former managerial targets - including Xabi Alonso, Mikel Arteta, Thomas Tuchel and Roberto De Zerbi - were no longer attainable.

Barcelona coach Xavi on April 10, 2024© Reuters

Barcelona confirm Xavi departure after president meeting

There would be one final significant twist to the tale, though, as following claims by Fabrizio Romano that Xavi had been let go, Barcelona confirmed that Laporta had pulled the trigger on the La Liga-winning boss on Friday.

Xavi will take charge of Barcelona for the final time on Sunday night, when the Catalonian giants head to Sevilla for their final game of the 2023-24 La Liga season, already confirmed to be finishing second in the table.

"The president of FC Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, announced this afternoon to Xavi Hernández that he will not continue as coach of the first team in the 2024-25 season," Barcelona said in a statement,

"The meeting took place at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper and the sports vice-president, Rafa Yuste, and the sports director, Anderson Luís de Souza, Deco, as well as Xavi's assistants, Oscar Hernandez and Sergio Alegre, were present.

"FC Barcelona would like to thank Xavi for his work as a coach, which adds to an unparalleled career as a player and captain of the team, and wishes him all the luck in the world. In the coming days, FC Barcelona will inform about the new structure of the first team."

Xavi exit the headline act in Barcelona circus

Barcelona president Joan Laporta pictured on August 5, 2022© Reuters

After nearly three years in charge, one La Liga title and one Supercopa de Espana crown, Xavi's exit is the latest laughable episode of the Barcelona soap opera, which has been throwing up farce after farce for a number of years now.

From their well-reported financial crisis and alleged bribes to a refereeing chief, to underwhelming performances on the pitch, Barcelona had briefly brought the good times back to Camp Nou when Xavi masterminded their run to La Liga glory just 12 months ago.

For months on end, the 44-year-old affirmed time and time again that nothing could make him change his mind about leaving, only for Laporta and Deco to eventually twist his arm as he failed to stay true to his original word.

However, only a few weeks on from the joint press conference where Barcelona's continued partnership with Xavi was announced, the 44-year-old has somehow managed to burn enough bridges with Laporta to be ruthlessly axed from his position.

Whether there was more to his exit than just a couple of nonsensical comments only he and the hierarchy know - at least for now - and the pressure on Flick to restore even a small sense of order to the Barcelona circus could hardly be greater.

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Barcelona coach Xavi on April 10, 2024
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