Joan Laporta opens up on the decision of Xavi's sacking

The President, in an interview, explained the decision to sack Xavi
Joan Laporta, Xavi
Joan Laporta, Xavi / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

Barcelona's first season without Lionel Messi was going to be tough, but no one expected the club to be straddling the 9th position in the league table. Distressed by the situation, the Barcelona board began to look for alternatives for Ronald Koeman. Meanwhile, Xavi was doing wonders in Qatar, winning titles with Al Saad. The solution seemed simple, and finally, in November 2021, Laporta announced Xavi as the new Barca manager.

From there, Xavi steered the team to a second-place finish at the end of the season. Under his management, things looked promising as Barca dismantled their Clasico rivals, Real Madrid, 4-0 at the Bernabeu. Despite losing the first Clasico 3-1 the next season, Barcelona were consistent throughout the season. Having the best defense in the league, conceding only 20 goals in La Liga, Xavi led Barcelona to the La Liga title after four seasons.

Xavi's men won the La Liga and the Supercopa in 2022/23, bettering Real Madrid on both occasions. In Laporta's words, "Xavi has done a good job. He took over the team at a time of maximum difficulty. Last year he won the league and the Super Cup."

Joan Laporta explains why Xavi didn't live up to high expectations

In addition, Xavi's side thrashed Los Blancos 3-0 in the preseason Clasico. From being a midtable team in November 2021 to asserting the Catalans' domestic dominance, the comeback seemed complete. A new era of Barca dominance was promised.

However, it didn't take much time for Xavi's side to falter against the high expectations they were living up to. A crazy 5-3 loss vs. Villareal, back-to-back 4-2 defeats against Girona in La Liga, three straight Clasico defeats, and a disappointing 6-4 elimination against PSG in the Champions League led Xavi to consider resigning.

Regarding the same, Laporta addressed, "This season, things have not gone well, to the point that Xavi said he would not continue. I accepted because Xavi is a culé at heart, and it was better not to change coaches in the middle of the season. He didn’t seem able to continue withstanding the pressure."

At the end of the season, things looked to change for the better as Barcelona was winning games in La Liga. Xavi also entertained the idea of staying for the next season in his press conferences. However, this didn't sit well with Joan Laporta as he opened up, "Then there is a press conference in which he changes his speech and a meeting with the sports director in which he changes his requests. That makes me think that a new push must be given to get the ball rolling and maximum performance to this squad".

Afterward, Barca sacked Xavi and brought Hansi Flick to replace him. Laporta added, “We got the option of Flick, who seems capable of competing with anyone. That was decisive. I think we have finished in a very elegant way with Xavi. He has kept his word, and so have we. We have reached an agreement. He has the doors open to return because he is a culer.“

Major changes in the squad are expected as Hansi Flick prepares to restore Barcelona's legacy in La Liga as well as European football.