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Xavi makes ‘Barca DNA’ claims about the next Barcelona boss

Xavi has emphasized that his successor as Barcelona head coach next season must embody “Barca DNA,” aligning with the club’s enduring traditions.

The 44-year-old led Barcelona to their first La Liga title since 2019 last season. However, their performance has waned in 2023/24, prompting Xavi to announce in January his intention to step down in the summer. He described the experience of coaching Barca as “cruel” and “unpleasant.”

As Barcelona searches for a replacement, Xavi has refrained from expressing his opinion on the specific traits and attributes the new coach should possess, except for one crucial criterion.’

“I don’t know,” he said when asked at a press conference ahead of facing Getafe. “In the end, it’s Deco and the president who have to decide. [But] he should maintain the line of Barca DNA.”

Xavi doesn’t want to really speculate about Barcelona’s future

The concept of ‘Barca DNA’ has consistently been a central theme in the hiring of coaches at Camp Nou. Xavi himself epitomizes this ethos, having spent 24 years at the club from the age of 11 until his retirement as a player in 2015.

Pep Guardiola transitioned into a managerial role at Barcelona, while Johan Cruyff, who helped revolutionize the club with his vision as a player, later returned as a coach during a challenging period in their history in 1988, subsequently ushering in the ‘Dream Team’ era.

Over the years, coaches like Luis Enrique, the late Tito Vilanova, Ernesto Valverde, and Ronald Koeman have all embodied this characteristic. Conversely, less successful appointments such as Quique Setien and Gerardo Martino lacked prior connections to the club before their recruitment.

An exception to this pattern is Frank Rijkaard, who won Barcelona’s 2006 Champions League title. However, his background at Ajax and experience working under visionary coach Rinus Michels in the Dutch national team ensured he was already well-versed in the principles that define Barca DNA.

In the search for Xavi’s successor, if Barcelona prioritizes this DNA, potential candidates include Mikel Arteta, Thiago Motta, current B team coach Rafael Marquez, and even Jose Mourinho. However, it may not be evident in candidates such as Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Tuchel, Hansi Flick, or Julian Nagelsmann.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.


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