On 27th January 2024, Barcelona’s manager, Xavi, announced he would be stepping down at the end of the season. Despite leading the team to a Spanish title in his first full season (2022-23), a recent 5-3 home defeat by Villarreal that left them trailing 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid, has led to his decision.
Xavi, who won 25 honours during his playing career at Barcelona, will officially step down on 30 June, even though he still has a year left on his contract. He made this decision after discussions with Barcelona president Joan Laporta, vice-president Rafa Yuste, and sporting director Deco.
Xavi believes that the club needs a change in dynamics for the benefit of the players and the board of directors. He expressed that he will continue giving his best until his departure. He also mentioned that he would leave even if they won the Champions League.
The job has taken a toll on Xavi’s mental health, and he feels it’s time to step back. He believes that announcing his departure now will help ease the situation for the rest of the season.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague analysed that Xavi, being a fan and a good analyst of Barcelona, prepared himself to be its manager. However, Balague points out that Xavi was not club president Joan Laporta’s choice and that Xavi’s management has not significantly improved the team’s performance. He suggests that Xavi will have to decide whether his management was a failure or if the conditions were not conducive to his success.