Xavi gives damning reason for decision to quit Barcelona job

  • Xavi announced decision to leave Barcelona at the end of the season
  • Coach has now spoken about feeling underappreciated
  • "They make you feel worthless every day," he said before Osasuna game

Xavi has explained why isn't staying at Barcelona
Xavi has explained why isn't staying at Barcelona / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

Xavi has admitted he "feels worthless" at Barcelona despite his significant achievements since returning to the club as head coach in late 2021, also revealing he thought even before this season began that it was likely to be his last in charge.

Xavi announced in the wake of Sunday's calamitous defeat to Villarreal that he will step down at the end of the season, even though he signed a contract extension until 2025 just four months ago.

The 44-year-old expressed hope that new leadership will "help the dynamic change" after a difficult season. He also described being Barcelona boss as a "cruel, unpleasant" experience and a "terrible drain on your mental health."

Now, speaking again ahead of Wednesday's La Liga clash with Osasuna, Barca's first game since the weekend's shock revelation, Xavi refuted claims from critics about not being able to cope with pressure and elaborated on how feeling under-appreciated has left him worn down.

"I think that the work has not been valued enough and this causes wear and tear on me. This is my feeling. It is not because I can't stand the pressure. We arrived at one of the most difficult moments in the history of the club," he explained, referring to the crippling financial problems.

Xavi reached breaking point as Barcelona coach
Xavi reached breaking point as Barcelona coach / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

"I made the decision [to leave] a long time ago. Our work is not valued enough. And at the beginning of the season I already thought it would be the last. I don't rule out returning. Barca will have me for whatever they need, but now I think they don't need me. I think work is not valued.

"That's how I feel. It's like that. They make you feel worthless every day. Speaking with Pep [Guardiola], he already told me that. It also happened with [Ernesto] Valverde. I saw Luis Enrique suffer. We have to reflect. We have a problem with the demands of this charge. It seems like you're risking your life every moment. That's why I say it's cruel, it's not enjoyable."

Guardiola, spent four seasons in as Barcelona boss from 2008 until 2012, enjoying the club’s most successful period in their 125-year history. But he famously walked away to take a year-long break from football. Xavi had also suggested at the weekend that it is "impossible" for a Barca coach to achieve what Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United, being in charge for 26 years.

Only three Barca bosses so far this century have made it to three years in the job.

Barcelona managers by length of reign since start of 2000/01





Frank Rijkaard

June 2003

June 2008

5 years

Pep Guardiola

June 2008

June 2012

4 years

Luis Enrique

May 2014

May 2017

3 years

Ernesto Valverde

May 2017

January 2020

2 years, 8 months


November 2021

June 2024

2 years, 7 months

Ronald Koeman

August 2020

October 2021

1 year, 2 months

Carles Rexach

April 2001

May 2002

1 year, 1 month

Tito Vilanova

July 2012

July 2013

1 year

Lorenzo Serra Ferrer

May 2000

April 2001

11 months

Gerardo Martino

July 2013

May 2014

10 months

Louis van Gaal

May 2002

January 2003

8 months

Quique Setien

January 2020

August 2020

7 months

Radomir Antic

February 2003

June 2003

5 months

List does not include interim coaches Antonio de la Cruz (2003) and Sergi Barjuan (2021)