The La Liga champions FC Barcelona suffered their third league defeat of the season, going down 5-3 against Villarreal at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys on Saturday. The defeat comes on the heels of their setback in the Spanish Super Cup final against Real Madrid in Riyadh earlier this month.
Following a string of disappointing results, Xavi Hernandez announced his decision to step down from his role as manager of Barcelona at the end of the season. This decision comes amidst growing speculation about his potential dismissal by the club. Now, the focus shifts to identifying the new head coach of the Catalans.
Who will replace Xavi at Barcelona?
Managed by Xavi, the Blaugrana have fallen significantly behind, extending their points gap to 10 points behind their arch-rivals and current table toppers, Real Madrid. This widening gap has notably diminished their hopes of retaining the title, with the team currently standing in third place on the points table.
Prompted by these circumstances, Xavi made the difficult decision to resign from his role as head coach following the game against Villarreal.
Xavi stated in the post-match conference, “I will leave Barcelona in June. We have reached a point of no return. It’s time for change. As a Culé, I think that it’s time to leave. I spoke with the board and the club today. I will leave on the 30th of June.”
Reportedly, Barcelona’s board is considering appointing Liverpool’s boss, Jurgen Klopp, as the potential successor to Xavi at Camp Nou. The German tactician is poised to leave Anfield after this season in the summer, concluding a nine-year, illustrious stint with the Reds.
Additionally, Thiago Motta is on the list of potential candidates to be appointed as the new manager of the Blaugrana. Motta, who played alongside Xavi during his playing days, is currently in charge of Serie A club Bologna and has been making a significant impact in Italy.
Xavi’s Barcelona managerial record
Xavi and Barcelona will be parting ways at the end of the season, as the former player-turned-manager has decided it’s time to quit, emphasizing the need for change at the club despite receiving support from managers such as Manchester City’s boss, Pep Guardiola, and Real Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti.
The 44-year-old took the reins at Barcelona in 2021, returning to Spain after his initial managerial stint in Qatar. Over his tenure of two and a half years as the head coach, he achieved a notable 62.30% winning percentage over 122 games, amassing 76 victories, 20 draws, and 26 defeats.
Under the guidance of the Spaniard, Barcelona went on to lift their 26th Spanish league title and the Spanish Super Cup last season. Moreover, he has been credited for his commitment to nurturing young talent, handling a constrained squad, and effectively dealing with ongoing injury challenges.
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