Defeat against Villarreal causes an earthquake at the club and puts the season in jeopardy

The 5 reasons why Xavi will flee Barça in June

El entrenador español del Barcelona, Xavi - PHOTO/AFP/AXEL HEIMKEN
El entrenador español del Barcelona, Xavi - PHOTO/AFP/AXEL HEIMKEN

Xavi Hernandez is not the saviour of Barcelona as Joan Laporta and the club's membership had hoped. He was, rather, someone in whom they wanted to believe in view of the collapse of the club. A kick forward coupled with the sale of grandmother's jewels to survive that the fans bought, anaesthetised as they live watching the orchestra play while the ship sinks. But there are other reasons that have forced Xavi to leave the club in June and to announce it in January, a move that could turn into a nightmare of almost half a year.   

  1. Laporta   
  2. Deco   
  3. Excuses   
  4. Squad   
  5. Negreira  


Xavi was the coach of Víctor Font, the other candidate for the Barça presidency. As Font was not going to win the election, Xavi moved between the lines and stood alongside Laporta. The former president was returning to the club in its lowest hours and without a roadmap, so hiring a legend and a guy who was perfect for withstanding criticism as coach seemed like the perfect manoeuvre. The months have shown that Laporta put too many patches in place and now we are beginning to see the seams that nobody fixed. A club without professionals in the sporting management after the departure of Cruyff and Mateo Alemany, full of friends of the president and with a sporting director like Deco who stopped being a representative as soon as Barça paid him a salary in gratitude for his services.   


The former Portuguese player came to Barcelona because of the friendship he always had with Joan Laporta. He never showed his skills as a sporting director, but representing players and doing business with Barcelona was enough to get the job. Once he had his stripes, he decided to go for Xavi, whom he never saw as a level coach. Deco and Laporta plunged Xavi into dressing room misery the day they forced him to call up the players they thought they needed (Lewandowski, Gündogan and Araujo) and not the ones the coach chose for the Champions League match against Antwerp. That move discredited Xavi and the photo with Rafa Márquez, coach of Barça Athletic, made the players lose respect for him.   


As a player, Xavi was able to cover up the excuses he made in every game with his play. A very heavy player, as other players have defined him, he formed a historic partnership with Iniesta and Messi in the midfield of Guardiola's Barça. As a coach, these justifications have been his undoing in every press conference. The climax came against Villarreal when he turned to the camera and said "it's a disgrace" when the referee did not award a penalty after reviewing it on the VAR. What was once the high, dry grass is now the Getafe sun at four in the afternoon. The cherry on top of the mediocrity was to openly say that the Spanish league was adulterated by refereeing decisions and, moreover, that this was the reason why winning it was "very difficult", instead of reviewing the team's poor play.   


Joan Laporta had a plan as Barça president in his second stint: to prevent the club from going through a desert journey that was deservedly due to the mismanagement of his predecessors. He did not want to see Barça in the Europa League or even in the mid-table and went all out with the signings of Lewandowski, Gündogan, Cancelo and Joao Félix, players that Xavi never wanted. With an unbalanced squad and a lot of youth players with a magnificent projection, Xavi was unable to get anything positive out of them. Lewandowski switched off in September with a nasty gesture to Balde for not passing him a ball; Gündogan said in public that he hardly saw long faces after defeats and too much Instagram in the dressing room and Joao Félix went all over the place as soon as he was on the bench for two days. Add to that the underperformance of players like Araujo or De Jong and the injuries to Gabi or Ter Stegen. The players have been unable to understand that Xavi was more than a coach and he failed to earn respect because he lacked leadership.   


The Negreira case exploded in Barça's hands before Xavi's arrival, but the fact that he was a Barça player in the years when the club paid the vice-president of the referees the most and the best, has not helped. The psychosis that haunts Xavi does not help and the persecutory mania has led him to always justify himself and to launch unfounded accusations about Real Madrid for the mere fact of following Laporta's discourse. This case, which will come to nothing judicially, will be the one that will sink the entity that has decided to defend itself by attacking and with hardly credible excuses. Laporta will do nothing to handle this crisis in any other way and those around him in the board will not help either because they value their office more than Barça.   

Xavi has a tough few months ahead of him. Márquez is condemned as a climber for applying to become coach just a few hours after Xavi announced his departure. If there are more defeats, which there will be, Laporta is capable of anything to continue destroying the club at will.