Monday, May 27, 2024

Xavi commits U-turn and elects to stay at Barcelona

SoccerNews in La Liga 24 Apr 2024

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Barcelona head coach Xavi will continue in his role next season after an unexpected reversal of his decision to leave at the end of the 2023-24 campaign, according to widespread reports.

The former Barcelona midfielder announced in January that he would walk away from the job at the end of the current season, even though his contract was due to run until the end of the following term.

Xavi acknowledged the Barcelona role had taken its toll but reportedly changed his plans after a meeting with Blaugrana president Joan Laporta on Wednesday.

The 44-year-old was initially appointed as Barca coach in 2021 before leading the LaLiga giants to the top-flight title in the 2022-23 campaign.

Xavi’s initial announcement of his intentions to depart Barcelona came after a tough period following defeats to Girona, Real Madrid and Athletic Club before revealing the news in the aftermath of a 5-3 loss to Villarreal.

The Blaugrana turned their fortunes around after that decision became public, though, going 13 games unbeaten across all competitions.

Unsurprisingly, that run encouraged Laporta, vice president Rafa Yuste and sporting director Deco to plead with Xavi to continue until the end of his agreed contract.

Though that undefeated streak ended with a 4-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain that dumped Barcelona out of the Champions League quarter-finals, Xavi has now agreed to stay in his role.

The league title is almost out of reach this term, however, as Real Madrid moved 11 points clear of second-placed Barca with Sunday’s 3-2 Clasico victory.

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