Barcelona manager Xavi says he will step down at the end of the season.
The former Barcelona and Spain midfielder took charge in November 2021 after leaving Qatari club Al Sadd. He guided Barca to the Spanish title in his first full season in charge in 2022-23, but Saturday’s 5-3 home defeat by Villarreal leaves them 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
“I’ve been a man of the club. I’ve prioritised it above even myself. I’ve given everything I have,” said Xavi, adding: “And I will continue to do so to make the fans feel proud.”
The 44-year-old, who won 25 honours during an illustrious playing career at Barcelona, will officially step down on June 30 despite still having a year left on his contract.
The 2010 World Cup winner said he made the decision following talks with Barcelona president Joan Laporta, vice-president Rafa Yuste, with sporting director Deco.
“I think the club needs a change of dynamic,” said Xavi. “For the good of the players, I believe that they will free themselves. We play with a lot of tension.
“For the good of the board of directors, it is best that I leave. I will give my best. I think all of that will help the dynamic change. This is the message I would like to give. I think I am doing the right thing.”