Joan Laporta reportedly unhappy with Xavi’s Barcelona team selection against Rayo
Catalunya Ràdio revealed that the both Laporta and Deco did not agree with Xavi’s starting XI for the LaLiga game against Rayo Vallecano.
The blaugrana executive expected “a fist on the table” from the coach for the tie in the capital and a starting XI with no rotations, but that’s not what Xavi had in mind and a result, a frown appeared on Laporta’s already concerned face.
Catalunya Ràdio also says that Deco was not convinced by the side put out that did not include the likes of Ronald Araújo, Ilkay Gündogan and João Félix. Barça huffed and puffed throughout and only an own goal meant they escaped the game with a 1-1 draw and now sit four points behind both Girona and Real Madrid in LaLiga.
Is Laporta going to sack Xavi?
The information, which came from the Tot Costa program, adds that this is not the first time that the board of directors have questioned Xavi’s line-ups, and that the incident is actually just one element of the bigger picture that surrounds the club, in which a certain sense of distrust from the Barça President and Sporting Director towards the coach and staff seems to exist.
Xavi’s statements on Monday in the press room before the match against Porto certainly made his side of the story clear. The coach insisted on the positive relationship between the president, the board and the staff, but his words clash with these off the record statements that were leaked from the board to the press.
The program Què T’hi Jugues, on Cadena SER radio, also reported a few weeks ago that there is a feeling of unhappiness from some members of the Barça board of directors, which came after the side’s loss to Shakhtar in Hamburg bright before the international break.
Who could replace Xavi at Barcelona if he is sacked?
The rumour that Xavi’s position has been questioned has now taken hold over recent days in the ‘Barcelona world’; the alarms were sounded after Laporta was pictured in the Spanish city of Palamós with Rafa Márquez, the coach of the B Team.
The Mexican supported Joan Laporta’s candidacy of Estimem el Barça, just as Deco did, in 2021 while Xavi was the visible face of Víctor Font, the eventual losing candidate, and he has now been sounded out by many as the replacement for Xavi if the team cannot overcome their identity crisis. Laporta, despite having already already shown he can get rid of Barcelona legends when he sacked Ronald Koeman, has generally been a patient president with coaches.
This is how he succeeded with Rijkaard. However, it was Laporta himself who put the most pressure on the project the day he returned as his second stint as President: “Losing will have consequences”. Barça’s next three matches (Porto, Atlético and Girona) will be decisive to see just how Laporta acts with his current head coach.
The game between Barcelona and Porto will be played on Tuesday, November 28, with kick off at 3 p.m. ET / 12 noon PT.