The problems at Spanish champions FC Barcelona are increasingly becoming a crisis – and coach Xavi will leave the club at the end of the season. Three days after the cup exit, the Catalans remained winless for the third time in the last five competitive games in the 3:5 (0:1) defeat against FC Villarreal despite a goal from DFB captain Ilkay Gündoğan.
At the subsequent press conference, club icon Xavi announced that he would be turning his back on the club at the end of the season. “I will be leaving the club on June 30th, it's a decision I made with the president and the staff,” said the former midfielder. “I think a change is needed,” said the 44-year-old. As a fan of FC Barcelona, he could no longer allow the situation to continue.
The Catalans are already ten points behind leaders Real Madrid in the table
The former Spanish international Xavi took over his long-standing club in November 2021. The 2010 World Champion and 2008 and 2012 European Champion had previously trained Al-Sadd in Qatar. He won the championship and Supercup with Barça in 2023 and still has a contract until 2025.
Barça is in crisis, despite well-known players like Gündoğan, Robert Lewandowski and the young players Pedri and Gavi. On Saturday, the Catalans lost further ground to the new league leaders Real Madrid, and are currently ten points behind. Real left previous leaders FC Girona behind for the time being with a 2-1 (0-0) win at UD Las Palmas. However, the surprise team can return to the top on Sunday with a success against relegation candidate Celta Vigo.
Barça temporarily turns the game against Villarreal around – and then falls apart
Against Villarreal, Barcelona completely failed to make amends for their quarter-final exit in the cup last Wednesday (2:4 aet at Athletic Bilbao). After their 3-2 lead and a successful comeback, which Gündoğan initiated after a 0-2 deficit with his fourth goal of the season (60th), the hosts fell apart in the final phase. A successful defense of the title therefore hardly seems realistic anymore. Gonçalo Guedes (84th), ex-Leipzig player Alexander Sørloth (90th + 9th) and José Morales (90th + 12th) sealed the Blaugrana's second home defeat of the current season.
In contrast to their arch-rivals, Madrid could not miss their next victory after an equally successful comeback against UD Las Palmas. After the hosts took the lead through Javier Muñoz (53'), Vinícius Júnior (65') and Aurélien Tchouaméni (84') turned the game around for Real.