For all the drama that Bayern Munich is experiencing at this point in time, their fellow FCB is giving them a run for their money. FC Barcelona is gunning for that “FC Hollywood” title and the latest report is that players are rebelling against the coach.
Bar Canaletes via Football España reported that Robert Lewandowski and Frenkie de Jong got into a heated confrontation with coach Xavi last week after the club’s rather difficult win against Unionistas in the Copa del Rey. Lewandowski and De Jong made their feelings heard against the coach, loud enough for the rest of the team to hear (relating to squad choices in the said match), to which Xavi clapped back by saying that the lineup that played was the best possible XI he could play.
Deco, Joan Laporta, and Rafa Yuste came to the locker room but did not back up coach Xavi in the affair. In their latest match in the Copa del Rey, Barca were undone by the Williams brothers of Athletic Bilbao as the Catalans lost 4-2 after 120 minutes thanks to extra time goals from Iñaki and Nico Williams.
For his part, Xavi commented on his status at FC Barcelona:
Xavi on his future: “The board tells me to forget about leaving”.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 26, 2024
“They are happy with the project, also the president is proud and we’re already talking regarding things about next season with Deco”.
“Rumours about my continuity are there since August… I'm still here”. pic.twitter.com/dChnGWRW2l
This is part of a wider topic on how Xavi is losing authority in the dressing room, with the players already questioning the former midfielder’s ways as coach of Barcelona whether they said it out loud (like Lewy and De Jong) or just amongst themselves. Right, time to get the team back on track. Or so he thought.
Their next game was a league match against Villarreal. Barca went 2-0 down but clawed back three goals to make it 3-2 after 71 minutes. They then conceded an equalizer six minutes from time, before Villarreal goals on 99 and 102 minutes sealed the deal for the Yellow Submarine. After that loss, Xavi has announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season:
BREAKING: Xavi Hernández has decided to LEAVE Barcelona at the end of the season. pic.twitter.com/yuWrx7JgSR— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 27, 2024
After all of that...word leaked that Xavi is now leaving his post after the season.
This begs the question: is Barcelona in a bigger mess than Bayern? You decide in the comments.