Xavi sacked by Barcelona despite retracting resignation last month

Xavi at the Olympic Stadium

Barcelona have sacked head coach Xavi Hernández, just one month after convincing him to stay at the club for another year.

Xavi, a former Barcelona captain and one of the club’s greatest ever players, announced in January that he intended to step down at the end of this season.

But he was then persuaded to make an about-turn by president Joan Laporta, with the club announcing in April that Xavi would stay until the summer of 2025.

Barcelona have now made a an about-turn of their own, however, after Xavi reportedly angered Laporta with comments he made about the club’s continued financial struggles.

Former Bayern Munich and Germany manager Hansi Flick has been lined up to replace Xavi, who will take charge of his last game on Sunday against Sevilla.

The 44-year-old’s fate was decided at a meeting which also included Deco, the club’s sporting director and a former team-mate of Xavi.

Quique Sánchez Flores, the Sevilla manager, said: “I should not say it, but how badly do Barca treat their legends?”

There is now uncertainty over the potential financial cost to Barcelona of dismissing Xavi and his coaching staff in this manner.

It was reported in Spain that Xavi had agreed to write off his remaining wages as part of his initial resignation. The decision to fire him now, rather than accept his resignation earlier this year, could therefore cost Barcelona around £17 million.

Flick has not worked since he was fired by Germany in September last year. The 59-year-old’s greatest coaching success came with Bayern, with whom he won the Treble in 2020.

In a statement, Barcelona said: “Today Friday, FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has informed Xavi Hernández that he will not be continuing as first team coach in the 2024-25 season.

“FC Barcelona wishes to thank Xavi for his work as coach, as well as for his inimitable career as a player and as team captain, and wishes him every future success in the world.

“During the course of the next few days, FC Barcelona will be making an announcement regarding the new first team structure.”

Barcelona are guaranteed to finish second in this season and are trailing Liga champions Real Madrid by 12 points before the final weekend of action.