In what appears to be a bittersweet farewell especially for fans of the Catalan club, Xavi Hernandez is set to leave Barcelona at the end of the season, marking the end of an era for the club. The decision followed the victories in the League and the Super Cup, achievements that, unfortunately, failed to stabilize his coaching position and bring peace to his work, which, regardless of the results, faced great criticism from the media and the public.
Several factors contribute to this departure, one notable reason being the inability of Xavi and his coaching staff to moderate the club's high expectations in various aspects. Despite winning the League last season, the focus quickly shifted to the next challenge, ignoring the club's financial problems and the restrictions it faces in the transfer market.
The shadow of Negreira's case still haunts the team and management, as financial constraints hindered the club's ability to make the necessary transfers. Relying on young players has become necessary, putting extra pressure on Xavi and his team to deliver.
Nevertheless, the legend of Barcelona coped well in the role of manager and with modest means and players from the youth unit managed to be at the very top in all competitions. The original plan after winning the league was to launch a more aggressive attack on the Champions League this season.
However, the summer transfer window proved disappointing due to financial constraints, leaving the team without much-needed reinforcements. The club have set high expectations, ignoring the fact that there are at least five teams in the top continental competitions that outrank Barcelona: Manchester City, the reigning champions; Arsenal; PSG; Bayern Munich, and perennial Spanish rival Real Madrid.
It is becoming evident that these teams possess more determined and skilled players than Barcelona. Despite the muted performances of Roberto Lewandowski and the departure of key players such as Busquets, Alba and Dembele, Barcelona lacked individuals capable of making a difference on the soccer pitch.
In an attempt to address these shortcomings, the club have brought in Ilkay Gundogan, while Joao Felix, with his potential for a key role, is currently on loan from Atletico Madrid. However, these additions may not be enough to bridge the quality gap compared to their huge competitors.
The departure of Xavi Hernandez can be said to be the result of excessive expectations that Barcelona set for themselves.