Barcelona manager Xavi has announced that he will step down at the end of the season.

Following his departure from Qatari side Al Sadd, the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder took over in November 2021.

Xavi led Barcelona to the Spanish title in his first full season in control in 2022/23, but Saturday’s 5-3 home loss to Villarreal puts them 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

“I’ve been a man of the club. I’ve prioritised it above even myself. I’ve given everything I have,” said Xavi.

“And I will continue to do so to make the fans feel proud.”

Xavi will formally step down on June 30, despite having a year left on his contract.

The 2010 World Cup winner stated that he took the choice after consulting with Barcelona president Joan Laporta, vice-president Rafa Yuste, and sporting director Deco.

“I think the club needs a change of dynamic,” said Xavi. “For the good of the players, I believe that they will free themselves. We play with a lot of tension.

“For the good of the board of directors, it is best that I leave. I will give my best. I think all of that will help the dynamic change. This is the message I would like to give. I think I am doing the right thing.”

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