Xavi ‘s apprehensions showed that the chaos at the Camp Nou could not end overnight.
For the second time in two months, the Spanish media confirmed that Xavi Hernandez wanted to return to Barcelona as a coach. However, it was accompanied by endless demands and worries about the internal situation of the team.
8 demands of Xavi
In a recent interview with La Vanguardia, the current head coach of Al Sadd expressed his desire to lead Barca: “It is clear that I always want to return to Barcelona and I am very excited about that. I have had an experience. I am a coach and I think I can bring something to the team. “
However, Xavi’s claims later revealed that he only came back if the atmosphere in the Barca dressing room was no longer toxic: “I made it clear to the people involved that I would only return if I were allowed to start a project. I will only work with people I trust, loyal and effective. No one will poison the dressing room. “
Xavi’s clear statement shows that the problem has caused Barcelona to fall back over the years. It is chaos, fighting in the dressing room between players, between players and coaches, between players and management, and between the leadership and the other candidates.
A month ago, Mundo Deportivo leaked 8 specific requirements of Xavi’s claims if he returned as Barcelona coach, including: full control of the club’s playing style and vision globally, bringing back former technical director Joan Vila, who influenced Xavi, signed Jordi Cruyff – the legendary son Johan Cruyff. In addition, Xavi wants to change the health department of the club, inviting former teammate Carles Puyol back to the team and giving the right to coach Xavi’s brother Oscar Hernandez.
Unlike Ernesto Valverde or Quique Setien, Xavi is a symbol of Barca, who spends almost all of his career at the Camp Nou and understands the situation and operation of this team.
His public speaking to the Spanish media seemed to show his strategy: if the Barcelona leaders (now or in the future) want Xavi to be their coach, they will have to learn to compromise and change a lot of things.
Who sided with Xavi?
The former Barcelona midfielder believes that former teammates such as Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique or Sergio Busquets will be on their side if they return. Sports has revealed that the return of Xavi and Puyol will end Eric Abidal’s reign. The French technical director made a lot of noise when he clashed with Messi in February.
Also in a shocking interview with Sports in February, Abidal accused Xavi Hernandez of being a “liar.” Xavi’s claims said he rejected Abidal’s offer when the club sought a replacement for Ernesto Valverde. In response, Abidal stated: “Xavi lacks peak training experience and if he is offered us a contract, show it.”
Xavi’s claims rejected Abidal because of his close relationship with Victor Font, the most powerful candidate in the new presidential election in Barca. Font considered Xavi as the deciding card in his election campaign in 2021, to beat current president Bartomeu.
Not only Victor Font, the other candidates for the chair of Barca in the next term such as Jaume Roure or Agusti Benedito also consider Xavi as their important card to knock Bartomeu away. Even the current president of Barcelona is ready to compromise with Xavi if necessary.
If Xavi returns, it means that Barcelona will have changes in personnel. “I think Barca doesn’t need too many new players,” Xavi said. “But they probably need more Jadon Sancho or Serge Gnabry. About Neymar, I have no doubt about his football talent.”
Xavi’s statement also showed the uncertain future of many contracts made by Abidal and Bartomeu during his reign. Antoine Griezmann, Dembele or Coutinho will probably be the first “scapegoat” names when Barca changes the upper floor.
Uncertainty at the Camp Nou
More than a month has passed since the period of consecutive scandals broke out in Barca. In early February, Abidal publicly criticized the Barcelona player, so Messi personally responded. By mid-February, President Bartomeu and his colleagues were accused of using money to smear players and opposition figures in Barca.
The Barcelona board is believed to have hired people to use social media accounts to post negative comments regarding Messi’s refusal to extend his contract or to make a claim to the team. In addition, the accounts also posted negative comments about the business of defender Pique, or revealed information that coach Pep Guardiola caused an accident after crashing 4 cars.
The incidents mentioned above show that Barca’s internal situation has never been really smooth, and they are probably the most unstable big club in Europe at the moment. This makes the fate of coach Quique Setien suspended more than ever. El Pais commented that Xavi was a very intelligent person and that each of his public statements in the newspaper had some purpose.
Despite receiving a generous salary in Qatar, Xavi has always expressed ambition to take over the team. He knew that in the contract Barcelona signed with Setien in January, there was a provision to allow the coach to leave the team at the end of the 2019/20 season if the club’s performance was not as expected.
Another provision allowed Barca to fire Setin in 2021 for the election. A new president may revisit Setin’s future.
At this time, there is rarely a team in the world where the fate of the president, the technical director and the head coach is as vague as in Barcelona. The chaos of the Club of Catalonia is probably far from over.
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