Barca convey me 'calmness and confidence': coach Xavi, despite sack reports

football18 May 2024 12:40| © AFP
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Xavi Hernandez © Gallo Images

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez insisted he still felt he had the confidence of president Joan Laporta on Saturday, despite intense speculation over his future.

Spanish media widely reported Friday that Xavi would be sacked in the coming weeks but the coach said Barcelona had "conveyed calmness" to him.

The 44-year-old initially said declared in January he would leave at the end of the season but made a dramatic U-turn in April after the team's form improved.

However Laporta was reportedly angry with Xavi's words earlier this week when the coach highlighted Barcelona's financial difficulties in contrast to the might of eternal rivals Real Madrid.

"The news doesn't interest me, (the club) conveys me calmness and confidence, for me absolutely nothing has changed," Xavi told a news conference.

"We'll sit down with the president, if we have to talk about something we will, but in theory everything is as it was three weeks ago."

That was when Laporta and Xavi announced the news that the coach would stay until June 2025, completing the final year of his contract.

Last season's champions Barcelona failed to win a trophy in this campaign.

In the face of Real Madrid reaching the Champions League final and appearing set to sign Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, Xavi was downbeat when speaking Thursday about Barca's ability to compete with Europe's biggest teams.

However the coach said Saturday his "hope and ambition" were still strong ahead of next season.

Barcelona can seal second place in LaLiga if they beat Rayo Vallecano on Sunday in the penultimate league match.

"I have no doubts that things can go well, I have an extraordinary base (of players) and we understand that we can compete better next season," continued Xavi.

"Our hope and ambition is still intact."

Xavi said he had told his squad the same thing in the face of the speculation about his future.

"I haven't noticed anyone unsettled, we are focused on Rayo," added the coach, at the end of a news conference cut far shorter than usual.