Xavi believes he saved Barcelona season from ‘disaster’ by deciding to quit in January

News Desk
Xavi gestures during PSG v Barcelona
Xavi gestures during PSG v Barcelona

Barcelona boss Xavi is convinced the Blaugrana’s season would have been a “disaster” if he did not announce his decision to quit this summer.

The 44-year-old revealed after a 5-3 home defeat by Villarreal in January that he would walk away from the club after two and a half years in charge following a difficult spell.

Barca were heading for disaster before I decided to quit – Xavi

He said at the time his decision would free up his players, and they will head into Saturday’s LaLiga clash with lowly Cadiz on a 12-game unbeaten run in all competitions – the last of them an impressive 3-2 Champions League quarter-final, first-leg victory at Paris St Germain.

Xavi told a press conference: “With the decision made, I was sure we would be like this. If not, it would have been a disaster, and I told the president so.

“I looked and looked around the club. If I hadn’t decided, we wouldn’t be competing by now.”

Asked if he might reconsider his decision in the circumstances, Xavi said: “I’ve told you that at every press conference. Nothing has changed.”

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Barca head into the game still revelling in the glow of their midweek fightback in Paris, which saw them recover from a 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 at the Parc des Princes and secure a priceless lead to take back to Catalonia.

They have won their last five in all competitions, although their hopes of closing an eight-point gap to leaders Real Madrid – their opponents at the Bernabeu Stadium next Sunday – appear to be receding by the week.

Xavi said: “Next week there is a Clasico that, if we win tomorrow, could leave us five points behind. If we lose tomorrow, the league is over.”

Indeed, Barca’s focus could lie as much over their shoulder, with third-placed Girona only two points worse off and due to host them in a potentially pivotal clash on May 4.

In the circumstances, they can afford no slip-ups this weekend against a side fighting for their lives inside the relegation zone and three points adrift of safety.

Cadiz have rallied in recent weeks, collecting eight of their 25 points to date from the last five games – including a famous 2-0 home win over top-four side Atletico Madrid on March 9 – and they boast a 2-1 home victory and a 1-0 success at the Nou Camp, as well as two draws, in seven meetings with the Spanish aristocrats since returning to LaLiga in 2020.

Xavi said: “They have only lost one game in the last five, they have beaten Atletico at home… a lot is at stake. Life is going for them football-wise in every way, they are playing for the season.”

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