Premier League

Barcelona president explains why he sacked Xavi


Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted that a change in tone from Xavi saw him relieved of his duties towards the end of this past season.

Xavi, just one month after performing a U-turn on his decision to step down, was sacked following a disagreement with Laporta over the strength of the squad, with Xavi later challenging the club president to come out and explain the situation publicly.

Laporta has now done exactly that, telling in-house network Barca One about the disagreement which led to Xavi’s departure.

“Xavi did a good job,” Laporta stressed. “He took over the team at a time of maximum difficulty.

“Last year he won La LIga and the Super Cup. This season, things have not gone well, to the point that Xavi said he would not continue. I accepted it at the end the season because Xavi is a Cule at heart and it was better not to change coaches in the middle of the season.

“Then he asked us to continue and I asked him if he believed in the team and he told me he did. What changed? He didn’t seem able to continue withstanding the pressure. There was a press conference in which he changed his discourse and a meeting with the sporting director in which he changed his requests. That made me think that the squad needed a fresh boost.

“We had the option of Hansi Flick, who seems capable of competing against anyone with this squad. That was decisive. I think we have finished in a very elegant way with Xavi. He has kept his word, and so have we. We have reached an agreement.”


Xavi disagreed with Laporta over the strength of the squad / Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Pushed for further details, Laporta continued: “Everything was very forced when we decided to continue. Xavi is a legend and his enthusiasm made us make the decision to ratify him. From the moment he makes those statements and he changes his requests substantially, the sports management could not see things clearly and I had the perception that I must make this decision. The board has the power to make these decisions and rectify them, as Xavi also did.”

Keen to move forwards, Laporta went on to reveal his excitement towards working with Flick, who has already been confirmed as Xavi’s replacement.

“Out of respect for Xavi we slowed down our process, so as not to distract the team with the search for a new coach,” the Barca president explained. “We didn’t want to distract the team, with a Champions League quarter-final ahead of us.

“I had already spoken with Flick, but he had signed with the German team…

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