Xavi remains coach after all – the club is making a virtue out of necessity


The best coaches on the market are not available, the best in the Catalan club is Xavi himself. And so Barça continues to hope for a big hit with the club icon on the sidelines.

Tense anticipation broke the routine at the FC Barcelona training campus in the suburb of Sant Joan Despí late on Thursday afternoon. The season was actually over for the first team, their hopes in the Champions League were disappointed with the 1:4 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals, and those in the league five days later by an unfortunate 2:3 at Real Madrid.

But this fickle club still has a volte up its sleeve, and so president Joan Laporta and coach Xavi Hernández stepped in front of the microphones to announce that everything is changing so that everything stays the same.

In other words: three months after Xavi announced his retirement at the end of the season and a week after he reiterated his decision for the umpteenth time, the role is now backwards – the coach will now fulfill his contract until 2025. “Very good news for the club,” said Laporta, “what we wanted happened.”

Xavi sees himself as a “home de club” – a loyal servant of the club

In fact, contrary to the attitude of some whisperers, the president never gave up hope of dissuading Xavi from his ad hoc and unilateral decision. He finally succeeded during a conversation in his house on Wednesday, “where we basically knew from the greeting that we wanted to continue together.”

Hugs: Joan Laporta and Xavi Hernández at the media conference on Thursday.

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In front of the media, both of them put their hands on top of each other as if in renewed love with the sports director Deco and once even hugged each other. They want to maintain the “flame” of the past few weeks, said Laporta.

In these, Xavi had achieved a partial goal of his farewell announcement: the team played brighter, more liberated and better than in autumn and winter. That’s why she and Xavi have recently been treated with a little more goodwill in club offices and in public.

While Xavi had complained about “disrespect” and “wear and tear on mental health” when he announced his resignation, he now said: “The environment will continue to be cruel and unpleasant in certain situations. But I feel enough strength to continue a project that is not yet finished.”

Xavi, he emphasized again and again, sees himself as a “home de club”, a loyal servant of the club. And – this is the unofficial reading of the aborted farewell – this club is still in such a bad financial situation that it simply could not afford a coach with transfer costs like the internationally highly traded Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton) or Rúben Amorim (Sporting Lisbon).

Cheaper former club players such as the coach of the second team, Rafael Márquez, or Thiago Motta from Italy’s surprise team Bologna, however, were considered too high a risk because of their young careers. Germany’s national coach Julian Nagelsmann – who has now extended his contract with the German Football Association -, the outgoing Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel or the clubless Hansi Flick were also not sufficiently convincing despite Laporta’s rumored penchant for the German coaching school; especially since the difficult Barça environment is considered the ultimate challenge for newcomers even in better times.

It is said that Laporta uses the pattern he uses to make his coaching decisions: either it should be the best from his own club or the best on the market. In 2008, he gave his board the choice between Josep Guardiola (then coach of the second team) and José Mourinho (then without a job). What followed is well known: Guardiola became the architect of Barça’s best era.

On the occasion of Xavi’s original resignation, former Barça coach Josep Guardiola stated that it was much more difficult to train in Barcelona than in England.

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As a result of Xavi staying at FC Barcelona, ​​the continental coaching carousel is losing a lot of rotation

The expectation that history could repeat itself with the then game designer Xavi has so far remained unfulfilled; Last but not least, his lack of control on the sidelines with frequent dismissals characterizes him as a novice in need of learning.

But with the championship won last season and the integration of young homegrown players such as Gavi, Fermin López, Lamine Yamal and most recently Pau Cubarsí, he has at least acquired enough merit to continue to lead the in-house ranking.

The best on the market – and especially in the German school – will soon be unemployed, but not yet available: Jürgen Klopp wants to take a sabbatical after his upcoming departure from Liverpool. He will do this in Mallorca, where he has just renovated a magnificent house.

So it might be worth waiting to see how he fares during the rest break, because the charismatic team builder Klopp should be considered the ideal choice if he wants to wake up the next traditional club after Dortmund and Liverpool. He also lives not far from Palma’s airport; The journey from there to Barcelona takes just half an hour.

But that is at best a thing of the future, if at all. In the present, the continental coaching carousel is losing a lot of rotation due to Xavi’s stay. Since FC Bayern seems to be close to signing a contract with Austria’s national coach Ralf Rangnick, the tableau is already taking on very concrete forms: Of the top European clubs, only Liverpool would be without a contractually bound trainer for next season.



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