Xavi Subtly Hints His Time at Barcelona Could Be Up After Copa Del Rey Elimination by Bilbao

Xavi Subtly Hints His Time at Barcelona Could Be Up After Copa Del Rey Elimination by Bilbao

Elijah Odetokun
updated at January 25, 2024 at 3:30 PM
In this article:
FC Barcelona logo
FC Barcelona
Athletic Bilbao logo
Athletic Bilbao
Copa del Rey logo
Copa del Rey
  • Athletic Bilbao came back in extra time to eliminate Barcelona from the Copa del Rey
  • The Basque club scored three goals to overturn a first-half 2-1 loss against the Blaugrana
  • Xavi Hernandez is feeling the heat and hinted his time at the Catalan club could end soon

Xavi Hernandez is under pressure after his youthful Barcelona lineup was eliminated from the Copa del Rey after a 4-2 defeat to Athletic Bilbao.

Barcelona won the first half 2-1 thanks to goals from Robert Lewandowski and 16-year-old Lamine Yamal after Gorka Guruzeta had put the hosts ahead.

Xavi, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Copa del Rey.
Xavi Hernandez reacts on the touchline during Barcelona's 4-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao. Photo by Diego Souto.
Source: Getty Images

Oihan Sancet scored in the second half to drag the game to extra time before Inaki Williams, who flew back from AFCON after Ghana were eliminated scored one and assisted his brother Nico for the second to secure a 4-2 win.

The result means Real Sociedad are the only team to have won at least once in the last five years to reach the semi-final and retain their chances of winning it again.

Xavi hints Barca time is almost over

Barcelona manager Xavi was visibly dejected after his side were dumped out of the competition but expressed pride in the youth players he put out on the pitch.

“I feel pride at how we competed against a great team until the end, especially the youngsters. We're playing with kids. The squad is small. This is what I mean when I say we are in a construction,” he said via ESPN.

Further comments from him during the post-match conference suggested that his time could be up in the summer.

“I think this is the start of something big. Whether I am here or not, Barça have a big future. There is a really good project, not in terms of me as a coach, but in terms of a really good generation coming through,” he added.

Goal reported that it was claimed that the Spanish former footballer had lost the dressing room, and some players have questioned his approach. However, he retains the support of Joan Laporta and other board members.

Xavi apologises to Barcelona fans

Sports Brief reported on Xavi apologising to Barcelona fans after they were defeated 4-1 by bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final in Saudi Arabia.

The 2010 World Cup winner appealed to the travelling fans for the embarrassing performance put up by the team, including allowing a first-half hat-trick by Vinicius Jr.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.