Xavi to remain Barcelona head coach beyond the current season

Xavi will stay on as head coach of Barcelona, the club announced on Thursday, reversing his previous decision to depart at the end of the current season.

Speaking at a press conference, Barça president Joan Laporta said that he had “always” wanted Xavi to remain in charge beyond this season, despite the 44-year-old announcing in January that he planned to leave the club.

“Yesterday, we were talking and Xavi told me about his excitement for the project and the confidence that he has in the team, as well as the ambition he has for making a project that has already won and that should keep winning,” said Laporta.

“Now,” he added, “we will be more competitive and there will be some changes made to try to improve.”

Xavi led Barcelona to the La Liga title in his first full season in charge last year and later signed a two-year contract extension to remain as manager until at least June 2025.

Xavi and Laporta embrace at Thursday's press conference. - Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images
Xavi and Laporta embrace at Thursday's press conference. - Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

This year has been more challenging with the team second in the table – 11 points behind Real Madrid, which won El Clásico on Sunday 3-2 with a Jude Bellingham goal in the 91st minute – and out of the Champions League after a second-leg collapse against Paris Saint-Germain last week.

“We think that this season, despite not reaching our goals, does have positive signs,” said Laporta. “We won’t break it completely … We don’t want [fans] to lose the spark of hope. It’s what I ask of all of the barcelonismo.”

Laporta also said that the board did not negotiate with another manager about taking over from Xavi, who made 767 appearances for the Blaugrana as a player, winning four Champions Leagues and eight La Liga titles.

“The eagerness, hopes and confidence in the board, the sporting department, the staff and the players were key to me staying on the bench at Barça,” Xavi told reporters on Thursday, adding that he wants to “keep the stability in the club and to keep building a winning team.”

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