Xavi Hernandez Give Reasons For Changing His Mind, And Remain As Barcelona Manager.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has reversed his decision to leave Barcelona at the end of the season and will continue as the head coach of the LaLiga giants until at least the end of his contract in June 2025.

It happened that following a 5-3 defeat at home to Villarreal in January, Xavi  had announced his intention to step down as boss at the end of the season, as he felt he was not being protected by the club and there was no clear direction.

Since his announcement to leave the club in the summer, and had always insisted that his original decision was irreversible, there has been lot of coaches linked with the job.

 Ex-Germany coach Hansi Flick and Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi were tipped to take over at the helms, but only former defender Rafael Marquez, who currently manages the Barcelona B team, had been regarded as a serious contender.

During that time, Barça had embarked on a 13-game unbeaten run as the clamour grew from club officials and supporters for Xavi to continue as manager. That streak ended last week with back-to-back defeats to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals and a 3-2 controversial defeat at bitter rivals Real Madrid in the El Clasico last Sunday, leaving the Catalan side facing a trophy-less season.

This season they were also thrashed 4-1 by Real in the Spanish Super Cup, and were dumped out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao.

 A meeting reportedly took place in Barcelona president Joan Laporta’s house on Wednesday, with sporting director, Deco also in attendance, and the pressure from the club for Xavi to stay was obvious.

The former Barcelona midfielder, who made over 700 appearances for the club as a player and won 25 honours during an illustrious playing career at the club, has now changed his mind that this would be his last season with the Blaugrana side, and accepted the conditions to remain at the club until at least the end of his contract in June 2025.

Neither Laporta nor Deco was surprised by the coach’s change of heart, although it has given them an opportunity to make demands. Instead of listening to Xavi’s conditions, they have imposed theirs, and they have been accepted.

If the 44-year-old is unable to improve the team by the end of the 2024-25 season, Barcelona will look to persuade one of the high-profile managers out of contract then - including Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique and Mikel Arteta.

Barcelona, who have struggled with financial issues in recent seasons, appointed Xavi as boss in November 2021 after leaving Qatari club Al Sadd, and he helped turn their fortunes around, lifting the league title last season in just his first full season in charge.

However, they are currently 11 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid with six games left to play in the current campaign.

Earlier in the day, Joan Laporta appeared in front of the media in a press conference to confirm that Xavi will be staying on as the Barcelona manager.

Laporta heaped praise on Xavi for his contributions to the team and how he has steered the ship at difficult times over the past two and a half years.

He then went on to urge all the players to match Xavi's level of enthusiasm, and trust in the Spaniard and the Barcelona project, at large. He pointed out that Xavi’s project is not finished and stated that the club must secure second place in La Liga this season.

Xavi stated that he felt "liberated" following the announcement, and gave reasons for his decision to remain at the club.

“I changed my mind because I really felt total confidence from the president, from the board and the players too. This project isn’t finished yet.

“Me, my staff, all together feel that we have strength to make important things together and continue this project,” Xavi said.

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