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Barcelona president explains decision to continue with Xavi – ‘Stability is the key’



Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Later on Wednesday night, Barcelona held a high-profile meeting at the residence of Joan Laporta to finalize the future of Xavi.

The manager, who remained firm about his desire to leave the club in June throughout recent months, agreed to stay as part of the same meeting albeit with certain guarantees in terms of signings.

While news of the manager’s continuity took over media by storm, an official announcement of the same was awaited before celebrations in Catalonia began.

Speaking to the media in a special interaction earlier today, club president Joan Laporta confirmed that Xavi would continue at Barcelona despite his initial desire to leave, saying,

“Good morning everyone. I am pleased to announce that Xavi continues as coach of Barça’s first team. He made some statements that he had considered leaving, but yesterday he gave me the illusion of the project and the team.”

The Spanish businessman went on to elaborate on Xavi’s desire to achieve more with Barcelona and the proceedings of yesterday’s meeting.

“The ambition he has is to continue winning, now being more competitive. Some changes will be made to improve. Since we saw each other yesterday, it was clear to us that it was good news.”

Laporta then insisted that stability was very important in an ongoing project and that a change of manager at this juncture was not the right way forward.

“Stability is a maxim in successful projects, especially for this one. Xavi is an indisputable Barcelona player. We understand it the same way.”

“When we analyze things, our coach always thinks about the best for Barça. It’s great news that Xavi continues,” he added.

Speaking on Xavi’s influence on the team’s youngsters and what it meant to the dressing room that he would continue, he said,

“The team we have, which is consolidating, with very young people, needs this stability. Xavi is a reference for young people and we can check it.”

“Yuste has always had it in his head, that there is a ratification in office and Xavi has all the confidence of the board, of the sports management and I hope of Barcelona. We are convinced that it will be a winning project,” he added, stating that Xavi had the board’s backing.

Laporta also went on to heap praise on the manager for taking up the Barcelona job when the club was at its lowest.

“Xavi had the courage to take Barça at the moment we were there and we have memory. This year we have not achieved the objectives. In a week they fell, but to tell you that we are convinced that it is the best decision.”

Xavi stays on as Barcelona manager. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

The club president was then asked to give his thoughts on Tito Vilanova, whom Barcelona lost on this day ten years ago.

“A very beloved person in this club, we reorder it with great esteem and it is always in our memory,” he said.

Laporta was then asked by the media if he had sought alternatives for the managerial post in recent months and what changes could be expected in the months to come.

“The changes are being worked on to improve what has to be improved. What I won’t do is make it public. They will decide and it is a very technical thing.”

“We were surprised with his decision but we assumed that formula from Xavi in the hope that if we won he would reconsider. When we didn’t win, there was a concern, we asked ourselves questions, but we had this conversation yesterday,” he added.

He then spoke on the games this season that gave the board confidence in Xavi’s project and the bright future ahead.

“We have been hooked on the Champions League with encouraged illusions. Everything that was being achieved, Paris, Napoli, the level of play, generated illusions for us. A flame of illusion has been created that has to be maintained. Sometimes a catharsis is needed.”

Further elaborating on Xavi’s love for Barcelona and the sacrifices he was willing to make for the club, Laporta said,

“This honours him and is another sign of his Barcelonismo. He always said he was giving up his contract year. It is an institutional and sporting question. Stability is the key. When it comes to money, Xavi has behaved with great dignity. He has never behaved with greed.”

Finally, Laporta spoke about the club’s economic situation and what one can expect from the upcoming summer transfer window.

“We are working to try to achieve the 1:1 rule to be able to incorporate players. The other day LaLiga congratulated us for the efforts we are making to reduce the wage bill.”

“At this end of the season we are pushing for operations to get the 1: 1. They will decide what can be reinforced,” he added.

When asked if the board took a vote on Xavi’s continuity, Laporta elaborately replied: “Nothing was voted on at the board meeting. After the Bernabéu the immediate reaction was total indignation at the referee’s treatment. We have already asked the Federation for the images because we think it was Lamine’s goal. We will go to the ultimate consequences, these abuses cannot happen.

“All this has taken us two days of preparation and then I told the board that this was happening with Xavi. I was waiting for the meeting with Xavi, which was rushed because they were already together with Deco.

“When it became clear that Xavi wanted to continue and there were strong reasons to continue with the project, the chief of staff called all the directors and they congratulated Xavi. Everyone had the opportunity to say theirs.”

Stability the main reason behind Xavi’s continuity, says Laporta. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

On his stance on the matter and what changed after his talk with Xavi, Laporta said: “I have always wanted Xavi to continue. We didn’t want to talk about it too much because we were in a constant sporting struggle.

“I needed to talk to Xavi to find out how he was doing. The perception now is clear. He gave me arguments to continue and I told the board.”

Further stating that there were no contacts with any other managers to replace Xavi, Laporta remarked:

“I have a lot of affinity with Xavi and I needed to see Xavi excited, with the confidence he transmits, with the complicity, and to feel with absolute peace of mind that he’s for it. I understand the project with Xavi as the coach.”

“I told him that we wouldn’t do anything until the end of the season, that we wouldn’t look for a coach, waiting to see how he finished and how he felt. We haven’t started negotiations with any coach. We haven’t spoken to any of them because we hoped that Xavi would think about it.”

On how close Barcelona are to reaching the 1:1 rule, the president replied: “At the moment there is no approval from LaLiga. We are on the right track. There are three basic axes: the economic recovery of the club, the Espai Barça, which is already taking shape and by December we could be back home, and the first football team.

“There are a series of operations with Barça Vision or with the sports equipment. La Liga’s calculations are that this season or next season we will be fine with fair play. Today we are still in a process of economic recovery that does not allow us to carry out certain operations.”

The president did add that there would be some changes made after the team had failed to achieve the objectives, saying:

“Losing has consequences and there will be changes. That is the consequence, there can be various degrees. There will be some adjustments.

“Despite not having achieved the objectives, there are positive things. There are young players who have broken into the first team. The project is intact in terms of confidence and enthusiasm.”

When asked for an update on the Nike negotiations, he did not reveal much, saying: “Let me not go into details, we are in a phase of renegotiation. It’s not finished yet. I can’t tell you anything. We are working to have the best contract on the market.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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