Barcelona announces its new technical director after the departure of Xavi

BARCELONA.- Barcelona announced on Wednesday the hiring of former Germany and Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick as a replacement for Xavi Hernandez.

Flick, 59, had been without a team since his dismissal from the German national team in September last year. He had previously coached Bayern for two seasons in which they won the Champions League and two consecutive Bundesliga titles.

The German coach signed a two-year contract with Barça, which announced his signing minutes after confirming that it had reached an agreement with Xavi “for the termination of the coach's contract.” and his staff†, which expired at the end of the next season.

Flick was in charge of Bayern when the German squad crushed Barcelona 8-2 in the Champions League quarterfinals in 2020.

Hernández, one of the legends of the Barça club as a player, leaves the team after finishing the season in second place in the League, far behind Real Madrid. Their last game was on Sunday, the 2-1 victory over Sevilla on the last date of the competition.

His departure comes a month after the 44-year-old former footballer reversed his decision to leave the reins of the team in the summer, something he had announced in January. In April he justified his change of heart by claiming that the team was playing better and that he believed he could bounce back after a titleless season.

At that time, the president of Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, publicly celebrated Xavi's decision. But, apparently, last week he was displeased with some statements by the coach in which he stated that Barcelona's poor financial situation made it almost impossible for him to compete against Real Madrid and the other big European clubs.

New era at Barcelona:

Flick's Bayern won the Champions League after defeating Paris Saint-Germain weeks after crushing Barcelona, ​​within an impressive streak of titles in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that included the Bundesliga, the German Cup and the Club World Cup .

Until now, that two-year period in Munich was Flick's only experience on the bench of a top-level club. He previously acted as assistant coach of the Germany team that won the World Cup in 2014.

Flick left Bayern to coach his country's national team in 2021, but was fired last year after losing 4-1 in a friendly against Japan, his sixth straight game without a win. The team's elimination in the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 was a major factor and fans were concerned that his style could sideline key players.

A documentary following Germany in 2022 included scenes in which Flick tried to inspire positive thinking among players who seemed bored or distant.