The European football season is still about five months away. The domestic league has barely passed the halfway mark. Champions League knockout stage curtain has not yet started. Barcelona is supposed to spend busy time with these. But where is that opportunity? Rather, the Catalan club has to think about next season’s coach!
Xavi Hernandez suddenly announced his departure from Barca after the 5-3 defeat against Villarreal in La Liga earlier in the week. No, he’s not leaving the Catalan club’s dugout just yet. Xavi will end the Barca chapter by finishing the rest of the current season. Who will handle Barca’s dressing next season is now the most talked about question in football.
Hansi Flick is leading the race to become the coach of Barca. The 58-year-old German coach is expected to be discussed. Flick has not been associated with any team since last September. Before that, he left Bayern Munich and took charge of Germany in 2021. Under Flick, Germany have seen a complete collapse at the World Cup in Qatar.
Despite the failure at the global tournament, Flick was still trusted by the German Football Federation. But the German fate of Flick hangs in the balance as it does not develop as expected. Flick was finally sacked by the DFB after Japan’s 4-1 friendly defeat last September. The treble-winning coach of Bayern Munich has been out of work ever since. After Xavi, the responsibility of Barca can fall on the shoulders of the German.
Christian Falk, the football editor of Sport Bild, a German sports media, said that the Barca board has already contacted Flick several times to handle the dugout after Xavi’s departure. But nothing is fixed yet.
Meanwhile, Rafa Marquez, the coach of the club’s B team, is also in talks to become Barca’s coach. Marquez has no experience of managing the dugout of any team at the top level, and he can get this responsibility by being close to the Barca board. Márquez played in the same Barça team with the club’s director Deco. The Barca B coach has a similar relationship with Barca president Juan Laporta.
In response to the question whether he wants to take charge of Barca after Xavi, Marquez, however, expressed his interest. So the board has enough time to choose the options. It is in their hands. But if such an opportunity comes, you can never say no…’
Not only Marquez, former Barca star Thiago Motta is also in the discussion. Former Brazil and Italy national team footballer Motta is currently manning the dugout at Serie A club Blogana. He came into discussion in coaching career by applying 2-7-2 formation in football. Despite the lack of success next to the name, it would not be a surprise if Motta was appointed due to his good relationship with Barca director Deco.
Current Porto coach Sergio Conceição is also being named as Xavi’s successor. At the end of this season, he has announced that he will end his seven-year relationship with the Portuguese club. The 49-year-old Portuguese coach can be seen in Barca’s dugout next season.
Girona coach Mikel is also in discussion. Mikel is particularly well-acquainted with the same style of football that Barca has been successful in displaying in recent times. Under him, Girona has appeared as a surprise in La Liga this season. The club is currently at the top of the points table. In recognition of this, the 48-year-old coach can get a call to Barca next season.
There is little talk about Jurgen Klopp. At the end of last week, Klopp announced that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the current season. After the announcement of Xavi’s departure from Barca, many are comparing Klopp’s account with the Catalan club. But the difference between Klopp’s philosophy and Barca’s football philosophy, the 56-year-old German coach must be a little surprised to see him in Barca’s dugout.
Meanwhile, the Catalan-based media outlet ‘Sport’ reports that Mikel Arteta can say goodbye to Arsenal at the end of this season following Xavi-Klopp’s path. It has also been mentioned in the media that he has already hinted to close people to leave Arsenal. Sport also reported the possibility of Barca taking charge of the dressing room after the English club ends its chapter.