Former Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has expressed his support for Xavi following the Spaniard’s announcement that he will resign as manager in the summer.
Xavi has openly discussed the stress associated with the Barcelona job in recent weeks. The former Blaugrana midfielder revealed his decision to step down at the end of the season and has been forthcoming about the challenges of the role as a consequence.
Xavi’s predecessor, Koeman, admitted that he found the job equally hard. He revealed as such in an interview with Good Morning Eredivisie: “Being Barca coach is an attack on mental health. It is much more fun to be a Barcelona player than a coach, and Xavi, as a Catalan and son of the club, has surely noticed it. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done.”
Koeman’s comments follow a series of incendiary remarks from Xavi, who showed little hesitation in crticising the club culture: “It is a mental and football issue. Failures make the team weaker and the players lower their level. The football level drops due to the mental level. That’s why [I have made] the announcement of my departure. Furthermore, I believe that our work is not valued enough. I had already decided on it a long time ago, since the beginning of the season.”
Nine months after clinching La Liga, Barcelona finds themselves firmly out of contention for this season’s title. Xavi’s team currently sits in third place, trailing league leaders Real Madrid by eight points. Koeman was dismissed from his position in November 2021.