Current Barcelona manager Xavi is under intense pressure, and the club is contemplating replacing him with another of their legendary former players.

There has been much conjecture over the future of the Spanish manager due to his poor performance this season at the Camp Nou. Following his appointment as manager in November 2021, Xavi led the team to a league and Spanish Super Cup victory in the previous campaign.

Despite having a respectable team at his disposal, he has been unable to build upon previous accomplishments this season. Pedri, Lewandowski, Felix, Gavi, Koundé, Araujo, De Jong and Ter Stegen are all still part of the club’s powerful roster. To be fair, a handful of those players have battled extended injury concerns. Ter Stegen and Gavi are currently out of the squad.

But the 43-year-old still hasn’t been able to return Barcelona to their previous grandeur. The Catalan team’s recent losing streak included a 4-2 loss to Girona and a 3-2 loss to Royal Antwerp. Due to such inconsistency, the Spanish champions have dropped to fourth place in the league. There is more pressure on Xavi after the two consecutive defeats.

Rafa Marquez to replace under-fire Xavi at Barcelona?

That being said, AS recently reported that the Barcelona board is beginning to doubt Xavi’s abilities. Indeed, the club’s illustrious midfielder might be fired if Saturday’s performance against Valencia ends similarly.

President Joan Laporta reportedly has a successor in mind, with Rafael Marquez being considered as a potential first-team head coach, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. In his role as an academy coach, the Blaugrana icon has done an admiral job.

Marquez has been a possible long-term manager for Barcelona for a while now. Despite Joan Laporta’s wishes for a certain style of play from the younger Blaugrana side, they have been successful as of late.

While the Catalans’ first team may not be having a great season, the Mexican is succeeding on the Barcelona Atletic bench. In the 18 months since he joined the B team, he has experienced ups and downs. Nevertheless, his squad has improved vastly.

Dec. 3 saw the side’s most recent loss, a 2-1 home loss to Deportivo de La Coruna. Their previous record was six victories in seven games. The 44-year-old’s tactical insight and profound understanding of the club’s philosophy pleased the president of Barcelona.

How have both coaches fared so far?

From 2003 until 2010, Rafa Marquez was a Barcelona player. In 242 games, he scored four goals and won two LaLiga trophies, one Copa del Rey, and one Champions League championship. After signing a two-year deal in July 2022, the 44-year-old took over as coach of Barcelona B.

The past season, Barca Atletic finished with 17 victories, 13 draws, and 10 losses. The club advanced to the promotion playoffs after steadily improving during the season and persevering through the tough times of missing players called up to the first squad.

Only recently did Barcelona manager Xavi sign a new contract. The deal keeps the Spaniard at the club until June 2025 with an optional extra year. Before the Christmas break, the Catalan team will play two league games against Valencia and Almeria.

Since becoming the head coach of Barcelona, Xavi has presided over 112 matches. His record includes 69 victories, 20 draws and 23 losses.