Xavi admits that “some of the worst days” of his life have come as Barcelona boss, as the former midfielder opens up on the struggles of management.
The 43-year-old made a staggering 767 appearances for the Catalan club at senior level before hanging up his boots, eventually linking back up with the club as manager part way through the 2021-22 season. Despite winning his first trophy as Barca boss back in January and his side currently sitting nine points clear of Real Madrid at the La Liga summit, Xavi has revealed the difficulties of managing a club of such stature, admitting that constant criticism can sometimes be hard to take.
“Some of the worst days of my life came when I was a Barca coach,” the Catalan tactician said in a press conference. “I’m constantly watching matches. I watch our games three or four times. It’s something I enjoy. As Pep said, being the coach of Barca you have to take care of 200 things. This job is 24 hours a day. I like 75% of my job. The remaining 25% is very difficult.
“I am constantly judged and criticized. It’s hard, I have a family and kids. There are many moments when it doesn’t pay to be a Barca coach. And even more so if you’re a Cule like me. Sometimes you don’t find out about the criticism and a friend calls you telling you that they are ‘killing you’ on social media. It’s very hard when they tell you that you’re not good or that you don’t have personality.”
Despite the club’s management coming under scrutiny in recent times – with the latest information suggesting Barca could be charged with “continuous corruption” over referee payments – Xavi stood by current president and “friend” Joan Laporta, who he has worked under both as a player and manager.
“Laporta is my friend,” he continued. “Barca are very lucky to have a president like him. He is very reliable. It is not about money or years of the contract, but about the fact that I want the club to do good. As for my renewal, I don’t want money, I don’t care about the years of my contract. I want results. I want to win. I care a lot about Barca and I want them to succeed.”
The Catalan tactician will oversee Barca’s next match away to Athletic Club on Sunday.