How did Barcelona convince Xavi to stay? With us only 3 are sure of the bench

On Saturday 27 January, in the morning, we were talking about a now deteriorated relationship between Xavi, Barcelona coach, and Deco, technical director, and the possibility feared by Jorge Mendes of bringing José Mourinho on the bench for the following season, given the honeyed words of the recent times and the fact that Mou has always carried his experience with Robson at Barça close to his heart. That Mourinho could be an almost impossible solution to his past at Real Madrid was obvious. But on the other hand there was the feeling that the next coach could be a Mendes man: Amorim? Sergio Conceicao? Maybe Rafa Marquez was also on the list.

Then in the evening the statement: “I reasoned as a fan and as a man of the club. I am responsible, now the players are freer. I made this decision days ago, the team needs a change of direction. I want to thank the president for his trust, I am a fan of Barça and I want the best for the club.” Football then moves so quickly that what is true today risks being upset tomorrow. After the months of resignation, where the Blaugrana gave their best – except perhaps in the second leg of the Champions League against Paris Saint Germain – Xavi had second thoughts. On the other hand, a year ago he won LaLiga and the Spanish Super Cup, why not give the prodigal son another opportunity? Laporta probably also did a significant job of convincing the coach, leaving him plenty of space for next season. It remains to be seen whether they will offer him a high-level budget to try to improve a team that has demonstrated that it has important individuality but which seems distant from the best in Europe, especially in the defensive phase.

Then, in fact, it will be up to us to understand how Mendes and Deco have worked in recent months. “Are we still trying to convince him to stay? Barcelona’s project includes Xavi, he has a contract, but he made a decision months ago. Let’s see little by little, I hope we can talk again. But now let’s think about the match, if Xavi then decides we would be very happy to stay.” This is what the director said after having caught PSG in the Champions League. They are neutral words that do not fully understand his position. What is certain is that the Portuguese super agent, in the last period, has taken on board many players from the cantera and seems to be relaunching himself towards a new golden era. Without a coach, at least this time around.

Then there is the local coaching circle. Juventus will have to understand what to do with Allegri (who will possibly not offer discounts), Fiorentina will say goodbye to Italiano, Percassi will want to retain Gasperini (but it will depend on the possible offers), for Milan there are two hundred candidates and at least two emerge every day, Palladino he could end up at Bologna in the event of Thiago Motta’s departure, Genoa offers for Gilardino who however asks for a clause to free himself, Torino will probably change completely after the years with Juric. In short, the only ones sure of having a bench are Simone Inzaghi, because he won, Igor Tudor and Daniele De Rossi because they have just arrived and been confirmed by the club owners. A nice mess for a summer (at the seaside) that promises to be torrid.