A day after Jurgen Klopp’s shock announcement of his impending departure from Liverpool, it was revealed another European heavyweight would need a new coach for next season.
Following a humbling 3-5 defeat to LaLiga strugglers Villarreal on Saturday, Xavi confirmed he would be quitting his post at Barcelona at the end of the campaign.
Xavi’s decision came just four months after he agreed to extend his contract with the Blaugrana until 2025.
While Xavi has pointed to media criticism and Barca’s financial struggles as the reasons for walking away, his team – the reigning LaLiga champions – have slipped off dramatically this season.
In recent weeks, Barca have been hammered by Real Madrid in the final of the Supercopa de Espana, and lost to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey, while their hopes of retaining the league title are growing increasingly slim.
But where has it all gone wrong?
2022-23: Two trophies but European failure
After a second-placed finish in 2021-22, Barca recruited heavily for Xavi’s first full season in charge, despite their financial difficulties, as they looked to usher in success in the post-Lionel Messi era.
Robert Lewandowski arrived from Bayern Munich, with Barca spending €45million on a so