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Xavi explains why he failed as Barcelona manager and advises Hansi Flick: “You will suffer”

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Concluding their final game of the season on a high note, Barcelona picked up all three points against Sevilla in a 2-1 win and gave coach Xavi Hernandez a respectable send-off, as he is now free to ride off into the sunset.

Facing the media’s burning questions for one last time in the post-match conference, the 44-year-old touched upon how the game panned out and his impending exit.

Sad to sever ties

When asked if he feels liberated now that he is leaving, Xavi replied that he was looking forward to continuing but is obliged to respect the board’s decision.

“No, not liberated. We wanted to continue. However, the club took the decision and we have to respect it,” he professed.

Additionally, Xavi admitted that he feels dismal bidding goodbye to his boyhood club.

“I was sad yesterday, and I’m even sadder now. I wanted to continue but it won’t be possible. This is football and this is life.”

Having won La Liga, the Spanish Super Cup and trusting several youngsters during his tenure, Xavi believes his work remains underappreciated.

“I think that the work we did in this tough situation has not been appreciated,” the manager exclaimed.

Xavi also claimed that being part of a legendary Barcelona team played against him and created unrealistic expectations.

“I was looked at very carefully. High expectations were generated because I was a player for the best Barcelona side in history. It played against me,” the former midfield maestro argued.

“I have a feeling that we did this work during an earthquake. We never had peace of mind. I asked for stability, but we never got it,” Xavi added

However, the Spaniard claimed that he must gracefully accept the club’s decision: “The club is above anyone. That is very clear. I have to accept the decision.”

Praise for Fermin

Fermin’s sublime strike from distance confirmed the win for Barcelona, as he was once again instrumental in the final third.

The youngster has been a huge asset for Xavi this season. When the coach was asked if he would take Fermin to the Euros this summer, he replied:

“This is a question for Luis de la Fuente. If it was up to me, I would take Fermín to war.”

After Fermin scored the winning goal, he and the coach shared a heartfelt embrace, with the youngster honoring the coach’s initial faith in him.

Xavi praised his attitude, claiming, “Fermín is a treasure of a player and a person. He has an ambition that makes you think like that. I told him that if he wants to, he can stay at Barça for many years.”

“Almost no one knew Fermín a few months ago, and now he has practically earned a starting spot.

He’s hard-working and a top professional. I would take him to the national team, no doubt,” Xavi added.

Advice to the new manager

While an official announcement has not yet been made, Xavi Hernandez will soon be replaced by Hansi Flick on the bench.

Xavi was asked what word of advice he would like to give to his successor, and he responded that he should gear up to face a monumental challenge.

“I would tell him that he has to face a very difficult situation,” Xavi expressed.

Xavi did not sugarcoat his sentiments and said, “To the new manager, I tell you: You will suffer. This is a difficult job and you have to be patient.”

xavi hernandez press conference
Xavi Hernandez in his last press conference as Barcelona manager.

He was even asked whether he thinks the next manager will be treated less harshly as he comes from abroad.

“I don’t know. The only thing that can save you at this club is winning. This is a fact, whether you’re a foreigner or not,” Xavi answered.

Proud of his tenure

Xavi also shed light on his achievements and reflected on his excellent relationship with the players.

“Our relationship with the players is marvelous. That will be our legacy,” he conveyed.

The Barcelona legend also confessed that it was a dream to oversee the club of his life. “I’m proud of our work. It was a true honor to manage the club of my life.”

Moreover, he painted an optimistic outlook for the future by highlighting the youngsters on the ascendance.

“There’s a very good generation of players coming up. We trusted them since the start, that’s the best legacy we can leave at the club,” Xavi said.

“We helped the young generation become better players,” he added.

“Looking back at it, we suffered, but we also enjoyed. It was a true roller coaster of emotions. I’m proud of my work, and I wanted to continue,” the Spaniard stated.

While he was eager to continue on the bench, Xavi takes solace in knowing the fans value what he has accomplished in his two-and-a-half-year stint.

“I’m happy because I know that the fans appreciate the work that we did at the club,” the 44-year-old acknowledged.

Furthermore, Xavi stated he would love to return back to his roots one day. “It would be an honor to manage the club of my life again someday.”

Touching upon how the 2023/2024 season panned out, Xavi commented that underperforming in a few crucial games cost them gravely.

“We didn’t win titles this season because we did not perform well in four or five matches. We were unlucky and we could not compete. We did well for the majority of the season,” he said.

Finally, one of the journalists signed off by saying, “I wanted to thank you for dealing with us for the last years, and for thanking us yesterday.”

Xavi, once again demonstrating his gentlemanly nature, courteously replied, “Thank you as well. It’s a matter of upbringing and values. This is thanks to my parents. They taught me to be this way. I know you’re doing your job.”

With that, Xavi has officially concluded his last press conference as FC Barcelona manager.

Source of quotes: Barca One (TV)

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