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Xavi says next Barcelona manager will 'suffer'

By Vincent Ashitey
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Outgoing Barcelona boss Xavi says his successor will "suffer" in the role.

The Spaniard, 44, was sacked before taking charge of their final game of the season - a 2-1 win over Sevilla.

Former Germany and Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick is set to replace him.

Xavi, who was under contract until 2025, said he was going to leave the club in January but performed a U-turn, announcing he was staying on at Camp Nou in April.

He said: "To the new manager, I tell you: 'You will suffer'. This is a very complicated place to be. This is a difficult job and you have to be patient."

The former Spain midfielder took over as head coach in November 2021 and won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup in his first full season in charge.

This season they finished second in La Liga, 10 points behind champions Real Madrid.

Xavi's sacking came a month after Barcelona confirmed he would stay at the club. It followed comments he made about the club's financial struggles, which were said to have angered president Joan Laporta.

"I have the feeling that everything I have done in these two and a half years has caused an earthquake," he said. "I have been targeted many times in many situations."

Xavi said his work at the club "not been sufficiently appreciated" and said of the decision to sack him: "I had no choice but to accept it. It doesn't matter if I agree with the arguments."

The former Barca player said he is open to a new job but thinks he also needs to "rest a little bit".

"It's so difficult to coach Barcelona," he added. "It's been tough last week, but I have my conscience very clear. I'm proud and happy."