Tactical Insights

FC Barcelona Coach Xavi Fired If Club Loses Next Match: Reports

FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez is set to be fired if the Calatans lose their next match, according to AS.

Barca takes on Unionistas de Salamanca in the Copa del Rey, which the Madrid-based paper describes as a “litmus test”.

“A defeat this Thursday would leave Xavi’s future practically a foregone conclusion, after throwing two titles in four days overboard,” it writes.

Though “on the other hand, a victory would give some oxygen to a project that is currently moribund in the UCI”.

Xavi believes that he can turn Barca’s situation around after the heavy 4-1 defeat in the Spanish Super Cup final at the weekend.

The defeat saw Barca cede its title in the four-team tournament held in Saudi Arabia every winter, but it also came to the worst possible foe in El Clasico enemies Real Madrid.

Xavi is said to be aware that it is the amount of titles he delivers which will ultimately decide his fate.

Of the three that Barca is left in contention for, the Copa del Rey is probably the most realistic to aim for though the Blaugrana could meet Madrid again at some stage in the proceedings.

Last season, Barca looked to be on its way to a domestic treble and beat Los Blancos 1-0 at the Bernabeu in the semi-final first leg.

In the return fixture, however, Xavi oversaw the worst home defeat in El Clasico in 60 years as a Karim Benzema hat trick and Vinicius Jr. strike sealed a 4-0 win ahead of Madrid beating Osasuna in the final.

Madrid could be knocked in the last 16 if they don’t manage to get past Atletico, however, after losing at the same ground – the Metropolitano – 3-1 in September.

Barca has already beaten Atletico 1-0 in their best performance of the season. And back to their other possible shots at glory, though, they look like to cede the La Liga crown they won last May while currently riding fourth place eight points off the chase.

Italian Serie A holders Napoli aren’t the most difficult foe Barca could meet in the Champions League last 16, but the heavyweights including Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and of course Madrid will probably all await in the quarter-finals.

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