Xavi and Laporta cite 'stability' as coach to stay at Barça for another year

Catalan football legend explains his reasons for U-turning on decision to leave in the summer

Xavi Hernández photographed during an FC Barcelona training
Xavi Hernández photographed during an FC Barcelona training / FC Barcelona
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

April 25, 2024 09:27 AM

April 25, 2024 03:17 PM

Xavi Hernández has decided to stay on as head coach of FC Barcelona after announcing in January that he would leave at the end of the season.   

Following a meeting with president Joan Laporta and members of the board yesterday, the club announced that Xavi will finish see out his contract, which lasts until the end of 2025

The news comes after a disastrous week on the pitch for Xavi's side, after being knocked out of the Champions League by PSG and effectively eliminated from the La Liga title race by Real Madrid Sunday. 

Xavi and Laporta held a press conference on Thursday to explain that both parties viewed the decision as one that will offer "stability" to a "winning project," and both insisted that the manager remaining in the dugout was the best decision for the club.


"He told us about his excitement, his confidence, and his ambition to continue the project," Laporta told gathered reporters at the club's facilities. He outlined that Xavi's project, with a Super Cup and a La Liga title that Laporta described as "historic", has already been proven to be a winning formula, "and should win again."

"I’ve always tried to do my best for Barça," Xavi explained at the press conference. "The most important thing is to think about the institution."

"I’ve received a lot of confidence from the president, from the board, from Bojan, Deco, the entire staff, it was important to have the support of the players," the manager said. "This project needs to continue, we believe in the stability of the club. This project isn’t finished, we’re working well," he said.

"It’s true that a few months ago I thought the best decision was to leave, but yesterday in a couple of minutes (in a meeting between Laporta and Xavi) we understood perfectly well the best decision was to continue. I am very grateful I can continue, we are now eager to bring stability to this project and this club," he added.

All parties repeatedly cited "stability" for the club in explaining Xavi's reasons for changing his mind and deciding to stay on another year as manager. Laporta denied that economic factors played a part in the decision, but it remains true that the club's financial position is an extremely delicate one, with a reduced wage bill permitted by La Liga, meaning that Barça will be forced into making significant savings this summer. 

In recent years, the club president has reached for his now-famous economic "levers" ("palancas," as Laporta described them) – effectively selling off club assets for immediate injections of cash, bankrolling the arrival of new players with the hope of creating a 'virtuous cycle' of winning, thus bringing in more funds. With a Champions League quarter-final knockout and an almost certain relinquishing of the La Liga crown, progress on the pitch has stalled this year with likely no titles to arrive to Catalonia.

Laporta denied that economic factors played a part in Xavi's decision, but had the manager decided to leave, it would have meant another potentially tricky task of hiring a new coach, with further financial outgoings. 

Xavi was also asked during the press conference about the reasons he gave months ago to explain his would-be departure from the club in the summer, pointing to excessive pressure from the surroundings of the club such as in the media and of other key blaugrana decision-makers. "I think I will improve psychologically and physically," Xavi responded, when looking ahead to next year, before adding, "looking at the group, we need to find the calmness to keep working with the team. I know this club, I know the surroundings, I knew it before, otherwise I wouldn’t have started." 

"I'm here to rectify my decision, I don’t have an ego, this is not a matter of money, I love Barça. I’m very proud of this team, even when we lost, and it’s one of the reasons why we decided to continue."

"We thank the president and (sporting director) Deco for their trust. This is not anything to do with egos or money, I have the confidence of everyone and that’s why we’re here."

Team thrives after Xavi's decision to leave

The Terrassa-born coach announced in January that he would leave the club at the end of the season after a string of poor results.   

"The feeling of being the coach of Barcelona is cruel, unpleasant, you feel disrespected. It's a terrible burden on your mental health and your mood," he said in a press conference after a 5-3 loss to Villarreal in La Liga.

Xavi explained that the decision was made to "change the mindset," and time has proven him right, as his side performed much better since then.