Xavi breaks silence after being asked to stay at Barcelona

The Spaniard announced last month that he would quit at the end of the season

By Web Desk
March 02, 2024
Xavi reacts on the sidelines during a match. - Reuters

Barcelona head coach Xavi finally broke his silence after being reportedly asked to stay at the club stating that "nothing has changed" about his future as the Spaniard aims to exit the Catalan club at the end of the season.

After the 5-3 defeat at home to Villarreal at the end of January, Xavi announced his departure from Barcelona this summer.

However, the team's performance has seen an upturn over the past month, securing victories in four of their last six matches across all competitions, including a 4-0 win against Getafe in La Liga in their most recent outing.

Barcelona's sporting director Deco hinted at the possibility of Xavi staying on as manager beyond the summer, and club president Joan Laporta is also reportedly eager for the former midfielder to remain at Camp Nou, at least for another season.

However, speaking ahead of Sunday's La Liga encounter with Athletic Bilbao, Xavi stated that "nothing has changed" regarding his future plans, affirming his intention to step down at the end of the current campaign despite speculation.

"As of today, nothing has changed. There is no issue. Step by step," he told reporters.

When further pressed on the topic, Xavi responded: "I have already said it. As of today, it's all the same."

Presently, Barcelona sit third in the La Liga standings, trailing league leaders Real Madrid by eight points and holding an eight-point advantage over fifth-placed Athletic, who recently ousted Atletico Madrid from the Copa del Rey semi-finals with a 3-0 home triumph on Thursday.

Xavi anticipates a challenging match on Sunday, describing Athletic as "the most intense" team in Spain's top flight.

"I haven't seen all the teams, but in La Liga, they are the most intense. And in San Mames, they double that intensity," he added during his press conference on Saturday.

"And they also play very good football and that's thanks to [Ernesto] Valverde, who is a great coach. He showed that here at Barca. They are the most physical opponent in every way."

Should Xavi stick to his decision to depart this summer, Barcelona is reportedly considering Portugal head coach Roberto Martinez as his potential replacement.