Xavi, linked to South Korea, stays at Barcelona

FC Barcelona (Spain) head coach Xavi Hernández (44-Spain), who was reportedly in the running for the South Korean national soccer team’s head coach job, will stay at the helm of the club until the 2024-25 season.

The club officially announced Xavi’s retention at a press conference at the team’s training center in Barcelona, Spain, on Friday (June 25).

Xavi, who had originally planned to step down at the end of this season, has changed his mind and will remain at the club until June 2025, the end of his original contract.

“I changed my mind because I could feel the hope, passion and trust of the president, the board, the staff and the players,” Xavi explained at the press conference.

On January 28, Xavi made a surprise announcement at a press conference after the 2023-24 Spanish Primera Liga 22nd round home match against Villarreal that he would “step down as Barcelona coach at the end of this season.”

Xavi, who took charge of Barça in November 2021, announced his resignation in January after the club lost to Real Madrid in the Supercopa and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) quarterfinals by Athletic Bilbao.

Xavi was recognized for his leadership, leading Barça to the league title in 2022-23, but announced his intention to step down earlier this year, citing poor results.

Xavi, who had received offers from Manchester United (England), Dortmund (Germany), and other clubs with poor recent performances, was the subject of a report in Spanish media the day before (Nov. 24) that the Korea Football Association was keeping a close eye on him as the next South Korean national team manager.

However, Barcelona president Juan Laporta continued to convince Xavi to stay, and he eventually agreed to lead the team 토토 until June 2025, the end of his original contract.

“My decision (to step down) was the right one at the time. It was time for a change. But things are different now. The project is not over and the team is strong enough to continue. It has become difficult to win trophies this season, but we see hope for next season.”

Barça, meanwhile, is second in the league this season with 21 wins, 7 draws, and 4 losses (70 points), behind Real Madrid (81 points). In the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League (UCL), Barça were eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain (PSG-France) on aggregate score of 4-6.

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