Thursday, April 18, 2024

Xavi Announces Departure As Barcelona Stumble In 5-3 Defeat To Villarreal

Barcelona Manager Xavi Hernandez has confirmed that he will be leaving the Catalan giants at the end of this season. 

The announcement comes in the wake of a disappointing 5-3 home defeat to Villarreal in a league game at Nou Camp on Saturday.

The clash witnessed a total of nine goals, with six scored by the visitors. Gerard Moreno opened the scoring in the 41st minute, 21 minutes after having a goal disallowed. Ilias Akomach extended Villarreal’s lead to two in the 54th minute, but İlkay Gündoğan pulled one back for Barcelona in the 60th minute. Gündoğan then assisted Pedri, who had just come off the bench, for the equalizer eight minutes later.

In the 71st minute, Barcelona took the lead with an Eric Bailly own goal, but Goncalo Guedes leveled for Villarreal in the 84th minute. Alexander Sørloth, who assisted Villarreal’s third goal, then scored one himself in the 99th minute, before José Luis Morales sealed the victory with the fifth goal in the 90+12 minute.

After the match, Xavi Hernandez announced his decision to leave the managerial position at the end of the season during a post-match conference:

“I will leave Barcelona in June”, said Xavi during post match conference.

“We have reached a point of no return. It’s time for change. As a Culé, I think that it’s time to leave.

“I spoke with the board and the club today. I will leave on the 30th of June”.

“This club needs a change of dynamic. Leaving Barça is the best decision possible for all parties involved”, continued Xavi.

“I’m the most responsible one, so the players will finally feel free now.

“Everything will be calmer now, we can compete for the Champions League… at least with this decision you [the press] won’t kill me anymore.

“The club will improve with this decision.

“You asked me many times that if I’d be the Sir Alex Ferguson of Barça… the truth is that it will NEVER happen here.

“You guys won’t allow it — being Barça coach is so difficult.

“You see how they kill you, they criticize you, it affects you.”

The Catalan giants were previously eliminated from the Copa del Rey cup in the midweek by Athletic Bilbao.

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