Xavi, in his first press convention after his dismissal from Barcelona: “I didn't imagine this ending” | Soccer | Sports | EUROtoday

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It isn’t simple to say goodbye, a lot much less at Barcelona. Exemplified, as virtually by no means in its historical past, in Joan Laporta's second stage as head of the Catalan entity. First was the case of its best legend: Lionel Messi. The president went from asserting that the Rosario's renewal can be mounted “in a barbecue” to not fulfilling the contract that that they had agreed upon two days after his signature. On the tenth he left in tears: “I did every part potential to remain; the membership, I don't know.” A few months later it was Ronald Koeman's turn, fired on a plane after falling in Vallecas. “It wasn't a very honest deal,” the Dutchman complained some time later. This Friday, it was Xavi Hernández's turn. From the sad Messi to the angry Koeman, a disoriented Xavi followed: “I didn't imagine this ending, but it can happen. “I’d have favored different circumstances.”

Unlike Messi and Koeman, Xavi opted for a conciliatory goodbye far from the conflict. In short, a farewell faithful to his style. “The management of my departure?” said the technician; “I'm not going to value anything. “I want to leave calmly and in peace.” He did, however, leave some messages, especially for Laporta: “The president told me his reasons why he believes the club needs a change of coach. Here the president decides everything and all I have to do is accept it and respect it.” Changes of opinions, his own and those of others, marked Xavi's time on the Barça bench. The coach went from resigning deferred due to “how cruel and unpleasant” coaching Barcelona is to “feeling strong” to continue leading the project. “I have been through a roller coaster of emotions,” he revealed this Saturday. The president, for his part, went from questioning his lack of experience to signing him and from celebrating his continuity to tears to slamming him downright, irritated, according to those who know him, by the Catalan coach's public request to make “changes.” after having accepted, always according to the same sources, the template it had.

“They have decided this [su despedida] thinking about the club. They think they need a change of direction. I just have to accept it and respect it,” said Xavi. And the reasons for his goodbye, a month after having agreed to continue in his position? “They have to explain them,” the coach resolved, referring to Laporta and Deco, the club's sports director, both present at the meeting they had this Friday at the sports city. “Until today, he remained motivated, excited and with his ambition intact,” he concluded.

This Saturday was Xavi's last day of work at the Joan Gamper Sports City. And he jumped from what he has enjoyed the most to what he has enjoyed the least: from the field to the press room. The technician was the second member of the staff to appear at the Tito Vilanova Field, the first team's work center. The sports vice president, Rafa Yuste, was waiting for him there, who had previously spoken with a member of his work force. They gave each other a hug. “Rafa has been a very special man. He has given us confidence until the last moment,” explained Xavi. The affection of Yuste, the only member of the football commission present at training, was not the last gesture of affection that the coach received: he also had that of the players.

Critics of the coach like Lewandowski, distant ones like Raphinha and close ones like Gavi did it. The majority used social networks first and then before training to fire the coach. It was not the case of Vitor Roque, angry with the coach's locker room management. A strange year for the footballers, as well as for Xavi, all victims of a club as emotional as it is changing. It happened, for example, that in the meeting in which Xavi's ephemeral continuity was conceived, Laporta asked the coach if he trusted the group. “Yes,” the coach decided. According to him staffHowever, “he had asked for four or five reinforcements.” Something that the sports management denies. “I believed in the squad, we could do interesting things, changing small things,” the coach claimed this Saturday before his last game against Sevilla at the Sánchez Pizjuán.

The different criteria between the coaching staff and the board, to which was added that of the sports management, not only subscribed to the preparation of the squad, but also to the work methods and information management. They will no longer be resolved. Yes, however, the matter of his settlement remains pending. At this Friday's meeting, according to both parties, the issue was not addressed. “Don't go here, there will be no problem,” Xavi interrupted, when asked about the settlement of his salary. “What I said stands,” he added. And, when they insisted, he finished: “You are journalists, I will not repeat it. You can search for it.” A month ago, when he announced that he would fulfill his contract, Xavi had revealed: “If I didn't continue, I wasn't going to earn a single euro. The president knows it. The money from my contract was for the next coach.”

It was the only uncomfortable moment of his appearance, in a place where he had usually seemed uncomfortable. “Thank you very a lot to all. I’ll miss you, even should you don't imagine it,” he concluded, laughing. Of course, earlier than he had already fantasized a few see-you-later in a membership the place few know easy methods to say goodbye: “I hope I am given the chance to come back. I would like to. I have enjoyed it, also suffered.” A subibaja of feelings till the final day, nothing new for Xavi or for Laporta's Barcelona.

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