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Xavi warns successor as he bids farewell to Barcelona

Xavi Hernandez ended his tenure as Barcelona coach with a 2-1 victory over Sevilla in their final game of La Liga on Sunday, closing out a trophyless season.

Despite finishing second, Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta sacked the former club captain on Friday, weeks after announcing he would stay for another season.

Appointed in November 2021, Xavi led Barcelona to a La Liga title last season but fell 10 points behind champions Real Madrid this year. German coach Hansi Flick is expected to be Xavi’s successor.

Xavi warned his replacement about the challenges ahead, citing Barcelona’s difficult circumstances and adverse financial situation. “The work we’ve done has not been valued enough given the adverse situation we came from,” Xavi told DAZN. “We finished second… (then) we won a double, and this year we weren’t up to the standard but because of four key games.”

Barcelona lost both La Liga matches against Real Madrid and also suffered defeats to Girona and Villarreal. However, they ended on a positive note with a win at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium.

Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring for Barcelona, but Youssef En-Nesyri equalized for Sevilla. Midfielder Fermin Lopez, one of Xavi’s young stars, scored the winning goal with a strike from outside the area. Lopez celebrated by hugging Xavi, acknowledging the coach’s influence.

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen praised Xavi, saying, “He worked every day so that we could succeed… we wish him the best.”

(Source: AFP)

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