‘He will suffer’ – Xavi sends warning message to incoming Barcelona manager

2023-24 La Liga season: Title contenders, top four contenders & relegation candidates

Outgoing Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has sent a serious warning to his successor as his time at the Catalan club came to an end on Sunday.

The former Barcelona and Spain midfielder was on the sidelines for the last time as he led the 27-time La Liga champions to a 2-1 win over Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in the final weekend of the 2023–24 season, thanks to goals from Robert Lewandowski and Fermin Lopez either side of a strike from Youssef En-Nesyri.

Xavi, who was sacked last week before Barcelona’s last game of the season, said his successor will suffer as he is coming into a complicated job.

“He will suffer,” the Spaniard said when asked about what advice he would give the incoming manager.

“Advice? I’m not the type of person to give advice. Simply to be patient, because this is a very complicated place to be.”

Xavi, who still has one more year on his contract, initially announced his plans to depart the club in January, but following talks with the team’s hierarchy, he made a U-turn on his decision, revealing he would stay at the Catalan Club.

However, the World Cup winner was sacked last week following reports that Barca president Joan Laporta was unhappy with his comments regarding the team’s finances and their chances of competing with other top European sides.

When asked about how he felt coaching his last match for Barcelona, the 44-year-old said: “We tried to control our emotions, but it is difficult when you know that this is going to be your last game and you will not continue.”

“We prepared this match in the same way we prepared the first one. We studied Seville tactically speaking. We dominated the match, we deserved to win. We finished with 85 points which was our objective. We did a good job, we wanted to continue, but these are decisions you cannot control.”

According to reports, former Germany and Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick is expected to replace Xavi, who led Barcelona to both league and Spanish Cup triumphs last season.

On his future, Xavi added that: “Nothing is closed. I am a professional, let’s see what happens in the future. I am open but 100% I think I need to rest a little. It is so difficult to coach Barcelona, I need to rest and need to be with my family.”

This season, he led them to a second-place finish in La Liga, where they finished ten points behind eventual champions Real Madrid as they secured qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup slated to take place in Saudi Arabia.

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