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Xavi: Barcelona manager to leave at end of season

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has announced that he will step down from his position at the end of the season. The decision comes after a 5-3 home defeat to Villarreal, leaving Barcelona 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid. Despite winning the Spanish title in his first full season in charge, Xavi believes the club needs a change in dynamic for the benefit of both the players and the board of directors.

Xavi, a former Barcelona and Spain midfielder, has been a loyal figure for the club, but he feels it’s time to prioritize his mental health. The 44-year-old, who won 25 honors during his playing career at Barcelona, will officially leave on June 30, even though he has a year left on his contract. Xavi stated that the demanding nature of the club, combined with the pressure of the job, has taken a toll on him, and he believes it’s the right moment to step back.

The decision comes after Xavi had previously mentioned that he would “pack his bags” if his players lost faith in him. Despite a response with back-to-back wins, recent defeats in the Copa del Rey and La Liga have led to his departure announcement. Xavi hopes that by revealing his decision now, it will de-escalate tensions and provide a solution for the rest of the season.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague suggests that Xavi, being a true Barcelona fan and having won the league, may not manage any other team. Balague raises questions about Xavi’s readiness for the Barcelona job, as the club’s president, Joan Laporta, did not initially choose him. The loss of key personnel within the club and the lack of a defined playing style have contributed to the challenges faced by Xavi during his tenure. Balague concludes that Xavi will need to reflect on whether the conditions were right for him to succeed or if his own readiness for the role played a part in the challenges faced.

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