Barcelona vs Napoli could potentially decide Xavi’s fate


BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 27: Xavi, Head Coach of FC Barcelona, looks on from the dugout prior to the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on January 27, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

There are simply no more excuses left for FC Barcelona to divert their failures onto. La Blaugrana are bruised and battered, and the latest 3-3 draw against Granada only further highlights it. Ultimately, Barcelona need to make defining changes to turn this situation around.

At the moment, the Catalan club is essentially en route to going trophyless this season. The Copa Del Ray and Spanish Super Cup are already lost, and La Liga seems as dire as it could get despite still not being mathematically impossible.

However, the only competition that Barcelona remain alive in is the UEFA Champions League, and even that tournament is not exactly theirs for the taking.

In Europe’s premier cup competition, Barcelona are scheduled to face off against Italian side Napoli in the Round of 16. While the first leg of this game could signal the beginning of the end for all Barça title aspirations, it could be the definitive end of one man’s time at Barcelona.

According to AS, a defeat in Naples could be the final nail in the coffin for Xavi Hernandez. That game in particular could force the Barcelona higher-ups and directors to cut his farewell short and part ways with the coach ahead of the second leg.

They believe that this would be the ideal scenario, and perhaps an emergency option like Rafa Marquez could take over. Xavi himself is aware of this, and knows that it would be the right thing to do should he be unsuccessful.

While Barcelona president Joan Laporta and others have tried to stick by Xavi’s side, they are now certain that specific decisions have to be taken irrespective of the difficulty of making them.

However, before that game against Napoli, Barcelona do have a game against Celta Vigo. No matter the result of that game, Xavi will likely remain with the team. It is only through a first-leg defeat against Napoli that Xavi’s tenure as Barcelona coach could reach its premature demise.

Thus, there is an ultimatum of sorts for the Blaugrana coach over in the Champions League. While the rest of the competitions seem lost, the Catalan giants wish to now divert their entire attention towards the European Cup competition.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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