Xavi behaves like a true Barcelona patriot. It wasn’t like that with Messi

Update Post: November 28, 2023 10:52 pm

In May, Barcelona regained the Spanish championship title, a very solid achievement, given the Catalans’ enormous financial and personnel problems. A worthy reward for Xavi, whose contract expired in the summer of 2024, would be an early extension with better conditions. However, nothing happened. Only in August did the coach reassure journalists: “Everything has already been agreed, there are only a few formalities left.”

It took a whole month to clarify all the details and no one understood the reason for such a long bureaucracy. After all, so that the coach and the team did not lose motivation, encouragement was sought as soon as possible. But, as they say, better late than never. On September 22, Xavi extended his contract until June 2025 with the option to extend for another season. The deadlines for a coach of a top-level club are incredibly short; Typically specialists at this level enter into longer agreements.

In fact, the reasons turned out to be compelling, especially for the coach. Instead of fighting for every euro, like some colleagues, Xavi only thought about one thing: carrying out a transfer campaign without additional financial burden for the Club. And only later did he resume negotiations on the contract, again taking into account Barça’s capabilities.

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In the situation of Xavi’s contract, it is important to understand two main things: the scale of his personality in the context of his contribution to the history of Barcelona and his attitude towards the difficult situation in which the Club finds itself. The coach made it clear: for him it is of fundamental importance not to lead the Club into slavery. A very recent clear example of such an attitude is that in 2017 Lionel Messi signed a four-year contract, which largely caused Barça’s current crazy debt. Officially it amounts to 1.2 billion euros, but there are also more pessimistic estimates.

Barcelona players shake Xavi on the occasion of winning the Spanish championship

Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

“Barça is already a SAD (Sports Public Limited Company, a type of open public limited company in Spain. – Championship Note”), the former coach of the Catalans, Jaume Llopis, amazed the public. — Some assets were sold to other companies and financial partners. Barça is now worse financially than with Bartomeu: less income and assets, more expenses. The total amount of the club’s debt is 3,000 million euros and cannot be reimbursed, only refinanced.”

It is completely unacceptable that Xavi becomes an additional burden for Barcelona. The coach delayed the extension of the contract so much so as not to under any circumstances darken his name and his reputation, which he values ​​much more than tickets, the Ballons d’Or or anything else that the individualist Lionel puts before him. Unfortunately, Barça’s motto – “Mes que un Klub” (“More than a club”) – does not apply to everyone.

According to Mundo Deportivo, each season of the Messi deal cost Barça €138 million, and the club has yet to fully pay the legend. It comes after Leo agreed to defer payments at the height of Covid in 2020 to help the Blaugranas with their finances. “The players must be the first to help the club when it asks for help. Many times we take salary cuts even on our own initiative,” Messi portrayed nobility in the midst of a pandemic. “Now, in addition to cutting our salaries by 70% during the crisis, we will also make contributions so that the club’s employees can receive 100% of their salaries.”

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Barcelona continues to pay Messi the contract amount

In this hot speech from Leo, it is important to distinguish between the concepts of “reduction” and “abandonment.” The legendary Catalan “ten” and several other players agreed to earn less only in the Covid year, but in the end they received or will receive the full money. Now, if they had “forgiven” the club its millions during the period of time in which fans did not attend games and Barça did not accumulate the expected profits, it would have been a completely different conversation. In the context of Messi’s words, the deferral of payments is presented as a respectable gesture, but in reality, where is the salary reduction?

“Some players accepted a pay reduction, others accepted a deferral. Some did both. Do we owe something to Messi? Yes, they owe a certain amount of money. We plan to pay off this debt in 2025,” admitted Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Xavi and Messi with the coveted “ear of ears” in 2015

Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Xavi has been achieving his current status and influence at the Camp Nou for too long, not as a player, but as a coach, so he carefully weighs each step. Just like he did when he was very young. “At 19 he was losing competition with Guardiola and the club received an offer from Milan. I decided it was a good option, but my mom said a firm no! She even threatened to divorce my father if he let me go to Italy. Our entire family passionately supported Barcelona. I rejected the transfer and after a while I became the leader of the team,” Xavi admitted in an interview with The Athletic.

In part, Barcelona’s debt to Messi influenced Leo’s decision to move in the summer as a free agent not to his home club, but to Inter Miami. Of course, it is not only a question of debt, but also of the difficulties in processing a transfer under the conditions of a tough salary cap at Barça. But Messi did absolutely nothing to meet his club of origin halfway. For example, Sergio Ramos agreed to play for Sevilla, which raised him, for a modest million euros. How did the Argentine help the Catalans?

The complete broadcast of the Spanish Primera match and the best moments are available on Okko.

When signing the contract, Xavi thought mainly about the club and not about the amount of millions in his personal account. Hence the extension of the agreement according to the modest “1+1” scheme: the agreement mainly protects the employer. Placing Barça, which is barely making ends meet, with the additional weight of a possible termination of the contract in the event of a streak of failures (championships do not occur every year, but eliminations from the Champions League are frequent) and compensation is tantamount to treason. This is precisely the main reason for the short nature of the contract.

Two years ago, a napkin with Messi’s tears was auctioned for $1 million, but so far we haven’t heard anyone bragging about having purchased this rarity. Perhaps because with his actions of “reducing” his salary and his desire to get every penny from the club that gave him everything, the Argentine allowed the applicants to the lot to feel the degree of falsity of his emotions when leaving Barcelona ?

How sincere were Leo’s tears at the farewell press conference at the Camp Nou?

Photo: Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Xavi earns five times less than Simeone

According to the authoritative The Athletic from Barcelona, ​​Xavi’s salary under the new agreement will double and amount to 8 million euros per season. Salaries for assistant coaches were also increased. These are not bad figures, but they immediately pale in comparison to the three highest-paid managers of our time: Jürgen Klopp earns €17.9 million at Liverpool, Pep Guardiola earns €22.6 million per season at Manchester City, and the record holder Diego Simeone and makes envy. Crazy people: 39.9 million euros a year at Atlético!

It is clear that Barça cannot afford these salaries or long contracts. But with short-term deals, the club has the opportunity to reduce financial fair play risks and possibly invite more newcomers in the next two transfer windows. It is noteworthy that Pep Guardiola also takes the same approach at Manchester City, although his club confidently stands firm.

If Xavi only thought about money he would probably stay and train in Qatar or go to Saudi Arabia

Photo: Joan Valls/Getty Images

In September, La Liga announced new salary caps that will remain in effect until February. Barcelona, ​​​​​​although it has recently saved as much as possible (reduced expenses from 560 million euros to approximately 400 million euros), still does not fit the limit: the club is allowed a limit of only 270 million euros. euros. The Catalans have become the only club in the league to exceed the salary cap after the winter transfer window, a competent contract extension with Xavi will not put another heavy burden on the club’s shoulders.

But in Catalonia they hope even more for a successful performance in the Champions League, Barça’s real lifeline. If a miracle happens and the Blaugranas win the trophy, Xavi will be equally satisfied with both the great achievement and the invaluable service he has provided to the club in the form of a shower of millions of euros. Because true happiness isn’t about spending money, it’s about having the opportunity to make the people you care about a little happier. Javi agrees with this.

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September 26, 2023 11:02 am