As Barcelona sacks Xavi on Friday, the drama surrounding Joan Laporta’s presidency of the club continues to come under fire. The former star midfielder was informed of the decision during a meeting with club president Joan Laporta on Friday. Also present at the summit were five other key figures at the Spanish side, including sporting director Deco.

Xavi now departs the team despite compiling a solid 63% win rate and collecting the 2022/23 LaLiga title. The coach, however, endured a fairly difficult 2023/24 season. The Catalan club dropped as low as fourth in the top-flight table back in December. As a result of the disappointing display, Xavi previously revealed in January that he would leave at the end of the campaign.

Nevertheless, Barcelona quickly went on a lengthy unbeaten run following the announcement. Getting back on track made Laporta publicly plea for Xavi to reconsider his previous decision and remain with the club. Xavi finally agreed to the reversal just last month. However, Laporta has now U-turned Xavi’s U-turn and fired the manager with one match remaining on the schedule.

Spanish side previously mishandled club legends under Laporta

The Xavi debacle is hardly the lone instance of mistreatment of the club’s icons by the club’s brass. Laporta previously promised Lionel Messi a new contract ahead of the 2021/22 season. The superstar was ready and willing to stay with the team where he spent his entire senior career. As a result of the promise, Messi publicly backed Laporta during the 2021 Barcelona presidential election.

With the help of Messi and other key supporters, Laporta won the election with nearly 55% of the votes. The closest competitor to Laporta had a final tally of just under 30%. Laporta succeeded Josep Maria Bartomeu in the prestigious position. Nevertheless, Laporta reneged on his part of the deal and ultimately told Messi that the club could not afford to keep the superstar. The Argentine attacker then eventually signed with Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent.

Just a few months after the fiasco involving Messi, Laporta sacked manager Ronald Koeman unusually. The coach was sacked while on a flight with his entire team. Barcelona was traveling back to the city at the time after a shock defeat to Rayo Vallecano in October of 2021.

With the players within earshot, Laporta informed Koeman that he was fired from the role. The Dutchman later publicly admitted that he was hurt by how the executive made the announcement. Xavi eventually replaced Koeman on the Camp Nou sidelines.

Sevilla coach openly criticizes rivals as Barcelona sacks Xavi

Sevilla manager Quique Sanchez discussed the Xavi situation during a press conference on Friday. The coach referenced the other mistreatments by Laporta and insisted that Barca does not know how to treat their former icons.

“I shouldn’t say this… but it’s bad how Barcelona treats its legends,” proclaimed Sanchez. “What a bad streak. With Koeman, with Messi, with Xavi now, how bad. I wish clubs treated their legends well. That would be fantastic. That is a legacy of connection from the managers to the fans. This connects a lot. Treating legends well.”

With Xavi out, Laporta will now turn to Hansi Flick. The German manager will soon enter the fray to become Barcelona’s next manager on a two-year deal. Flick previously found success at Bayern Munich before a disappointing spell with the Germany national team. The coach is set to first lead his new club during a preseason summer tour of the United States.