The struggles and expectations at FC Barcelona are understandably different from everywhere else. La Blaugrana are a team expected to win and do so in the best possible way. However, whether it be due to limited resources or internal issues, Barcelona is not always able to live up to those expectations.
Xavi Hernandez, the current head coach of the club, had to learn this the hard way. Even as he won both La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup last season, he has been highlighted as a major problem with Barcelona this season as they have crashed out of two competitions and are struggling to keep up in La Liga.
In fact, the pressure seems to have genuinely gotten to him in a very negative way. So much so, in fact, that he has already declared his decision to part ways with the club in the summer. However, one man who perhaps understands Xavi’s frustrations better than anyone else is his own predecessor.
Ronald Koeman, a former legend of the club as a player and the head coach of the team prior to Xavi, also had a mixed experience as the manager. Having led the team for a season and a half, the only silverware that was won during his managerial tenure was a Copa Del Ray title.
However, as highlighted by SPORT, Koeman has highlighted the frustrations and issues he faced during his time at the club, and how he completely understands how Xavi must be feeling:
“Being a Barça coach is an assault on your mental health. There is a lot of stress and pressure.”
Having been a former player himself just like Xavi, he also highlighted how he believes the experience is different between being a star in the team and being the head coach of Barcelona:
“It is much more fun to be a Barça player than a coach, and Xavi, as a Catalan and part of the club, has surely noticed it.”
He also claimed that the job was the most demanding one that he has ever taken up:
“It’s the hardest coaching job I’ve ever had.”
Moreover, the Dutchman also confirmed that he did have issues with Barcelona president Joan Laporta. Acknowledging that there always seems to be external pressure from the media and press as well, he stated that he knew what Xavi was possibly feeling:
“I understand Xavi. In my case, compared to Xavi’s, I had difficulties with the President. Especially when things don’t go well or when you don’t win a trophy. The press points a gun at you. If things don’t go well, It’s the coach’s fault.”
Currently managing the Dutch National team, Koeman has since moved on to international football management. Xavi, on the other hand, is set to part ways with the club as well sooner rather than later.
In light of this departure, Barcelona already have certain names highlighted to possibly take over from the departing Spaniard.