Barcelona are currently reeling from Xavi Hernandez’s decision to leave his managerial post, but sporting director Deco has already hinted at his replacement.
Understandably, the search for the next manager is already on, with Xavi leaving the club at the end of the season. There have already been rumors linking coaches like Thiago Motta, who currently manages Bologna, to the Barcelona role. However, Deco was quick to dismiss those rumors, telling La Vanguardia (via Tribal Football):
“Motta? I don’t follow Motta’s work much because he’s not in an Italian team who I usually watch.”
La Blaugrana’s sporting director went on to outline some qualities the club would be looking for in their next coach:
“Whoever arrives must follow a line of work and we will hardly accept a team that doesn’t play well and doesn’t want to have the ball. We’ll start from that idea, then every coach has his own characteristics, but whoever arrives must have ambition and hunger to do great things.”
There have also been rumors about Barca’s youth coach Rafa Marquez taking the top managerial position at the club. Deco hinted at the Mexican potentially being the next coach, saying:
“We follow (Rafa) Marquez because he is here. He is a young coach who is growing despite the difficulties.”
Deco discusses Xavi’s decision to leave Barcelona
Xavi Hernandez’s decision to leave Barcelona at the end of the season came as a shock to many. The manager announced it in the post-match press conference after La Blaugrana lost 5-3 to Villareal, with the Yellow Submarine scoring two goals in injury time.
Sporting director Deco revealed that he was caught off guard by Xavi’s words, as they had many plans in place for next season. During his interview with La Vanguardia, he said (via Marca):
“I didn’t expect it. I’m with him on a day-to-day basis and we had been planning for weeks for arrivals such as Vitor Roque. Or deciding if with Balde’s injury we had access to signings in the winter. There is always speculation, but I never thought about that. We were talking about next season, that’s why he was renewed.”
The sporting director went on to discuss Xavi not feeling valued, despite winning La Liga against all odds last season:
“He [Xavi] has already explained himself a lot. My feeling is that LaLiga that was won last year was not valued too much and it should have been done. The fans celebrated it, but the press and the general public downplayed its importance. And I understand the demand, but I also understand Xavi’s frustration at not feeling valued.”