Competition Focus

FC Barcelona Coach Xavi Talks Potentially Resigning After Copa Loss

FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez discussed potentially leaving his post after the Catalans lost 4-2 to Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Barca got off to a nightmare start in San Mames where they fell 1-0 down via a Gorka Guruzeta strike in less than a minute.

Robert Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal then netted six minutes apart either side of half hour mark to put the visitors 2-1 up.

But an Oihan Sancet equalizer on 49 minutes forced extra time, which paved the way for both of the Williams brothers to sink Barca and end perhaps their only realistic hopes of lifting silverware this term.

Xavi has spoken on this before, and said in a press conference just a week ago that he would leave if the objectives of landing big trophies aren’t met.

Probed on the matter once more in Bilbao following the full time whistle, he reiterated his previous stance with a fresh twist.

“I say it again now: if we are not at a competitive level at the end of the season, I will leave,” the club legend vowed.

For now Xavi thinks his side is competing, however, even though it is peppered with teenagers and recent La Masia academy graduates including Lamine, Hector Fort and Pau Cubarsi who he mentioned by name one after the other and singled out for having a “great game”.

“When I say that we are under construction it is this: it is the beginning of something important. [The start] of an important generation, whether I am the coach or not. Barca has a future,” Xavi insisted.

“On the one hand I am sad about the result, but on the other hand I am proud of the performance of the young players.”

“We have competed very well against a great team that is very strong at home. I already said that the [quarterfinal] draw wasn’t good,” Xavi also said.

“They are very intense, it is very difficult [to play against them]. We have to rebuild ourselves and compete in La Liga and the Champions,” he demanded, with Saturday’s hosting of Villarreal seeing Barca play their first home game of 2024 at the Montjuic Stadium.

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