Barcelona appoint Hansi Flick and agree €1m bonus for Champions League win

Hansi Flick has been confirmed as the new coach of Barcelona, after the sacking of Xavi Hernández. The former Bayern Munich manager joins on a two-year deal, worth about €3.5m (£3m) a year plus incentives, which was closed during meetings with the club and his agent, Pini Zahavi, in the city on Tuesday. The 59-year-old had been out of work since his sacking as Germany’s coach in September last year.

Barcelona described Flick as a manager “known for his intense, ambitious high press” and cited a “wide experience at club and international level, in which he has won practically every title that can be won in world football”.

The announcement comes weeks after Barcelona announced that Xavi had changed his mind over resigning and would continue next season. The president, Joan Laporta, said that was “good news” and that “stability is very important” but sacked the coach exactly a month later. There has been no public explanation for the U-turn.

Xavi was asked after his final game, against Sevilla on Sunday, what advice he would give the new coach and said: “Win.” He warned that Flick would “suffer” at Barcelona.

Flick will earn a €1m bonus if Barcelona win the Champions League and £750,000 if they are La Liga champions. In 2020, he won six trophies with Bayern, including the Bundesliga and Champions League. En route to securing the latter, they defeated Barcelona 8-2. Flick was the assistant to Joachim Löw when Germany won the World Cup in 2014.

Flick said it was a “big honour and also a dream” to join Barcelona. “The philosophy they have is similar to mine – ball possession and really attacking football, these are the things I love,” he said. “I won some titles with Bayern Munich and my hunger is really big for titles. I would like to stay on this path with Barcelona and I think we can achieve a lot together.”

Laporta has long been keen on bringing a German coach to the club and conversations with Flick go back months. At the end of January, Xavi had announced he would resign at the end of the season but Barcelona had not been able to secure a replacement and in a meeting with Laporta at the end of April he was convinced to continue. His sacking was announced last Friday.

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In the meantime, Barcelona had met with Flick in London. Flick has been in the Catalan capital since Monday and when the club’s vice-president, Rafa Yuste, came out of a dinner meeting on Tuesday he the club hoped to announce the appointment on Wednesday. Confirmation had to await the conclusion of a severance deal with Xavi.

An agreement was reached to pay Xavi’s staff the €4m to which they were contractually entitled, but the coach waived the €16m he was owed, with Barcelona agreeing to pay the release clause he had paid from his own pocket when they brought him in from Qatar, which came to almost €4m. A statement thanked Xavi for his generosity in facilitating the agreement, enabling them to confirm the appointment of his replacement.