Barcelona: Xavi out, Flick in

In shocking announcement on Friday afternoon, Barcelona have relieved their legend Xavi of his role as the club manager.

The u-turn was two weeks after the decision to continue with Xavi as head coach.

Disclosing via a statement, the club wrote, “Today Friday, FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has informed Xavi Hernandez that he will not be continuing as first team coach in the 2024-25 season.

“The meeting happened at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper and was also attended by sporting vice-president Rafa Yuste, director of sport Anderson Luís de Souza, Deco, Xavi, Oscar Hernández and Sergio Alegre.

“FC Barcelona wishes to thank Xavi for his work as coach, as well as for his inimitable career as a player and as team captain, and wishes him every future success in the world.

“Xavi Hernandez will be coaching the team for the last time in Sunday’s game away to Sevilla.

“During the course of the next few days, FC Barcelona will be making an announcement regarding the new first team structure.”

The decision has now been made that sees Xavi leaving the club for a second time after he left Barca as a player in 2015.
Xavi returned to Barca as the manager in 2021 to replace the departing Ronald Koeman.
The Spaniard led them to a La Liga title last season – the club’s first since 2019 and their first title without Lionel Messi since 1999.
Already, Barcelona are said to have struck a deal with former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick as Xavi’s replacement.
Earlier same day, Stefano Pioli was sacked as head coach of AC Milan two years after guiding the club to the Serie A title.

Pioli was hailed a hero in 2022 after delivering the once dominant force in Italian football their first league title since 2011.

He also guided them to last season’s Champions League semi-finals — the first time they had gone that far since the 2006-2007 campaign — where they lost to Inter.

According to reports in the Italian media, Paulo Fonseca, the Portuguese coach who has been in charge of French club Lille for the last two seasons, is on the line to take over.