Another Barcelona great in Rafael Marquez says he is willing to step in and replace Xavi as head coach at the Camp Nou.
Xavi announced his shock decision to walk away at the end of the current campaign immediately after Barcelona’s 5-3 defeat at home to Villarreal on Saturday night.
The result left Barcelona 10 points adrift of rivals Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
The former Spain international led the club to their first Spanish title success since 2019 last season but pressure has been growing since the 4-1 Spanish Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid earlier this month.
Xavi dropped the bombshell in his post-match press conference before even telling his players, once again throwing the club into chaos.
Former Barcelona defender Marquez is currently in charge of Barcelona Atletic, the club’s B team, having returned to Catalonia in 2022.
Mundo Deportivo report the former defender is not currently on Barcelona’s list of candidates to replace Xavi. But the Mexican legend has made no secret of his desire to take the first-team job if offered.
‘It’s part of the process. It will come if it has to happen to me,’ Marquez said.
‘Who wouldn’t want to be Barca coach? I will continue working hard, it’s only my second season as a coach.
‘The board will have time to think carefully between now and the end of the season. But, you can’t say no to an opportunity like this.’
Xavi meanwhile appeared to hit out at the Barcelona board after announcing his decision to step down and end his ‘cruel and unpleasant’ spell in charge at the end of the season.
‘I decided it some time ago,’ he revealed after the news broke on Saturday.
‘People talk about there being a [Sir Alex] Ferguson at Barcelona but that is impossible at this club.
‘The feeling of being a Barca coach is cruel, and an unpleasant one. There is a lot of disrespect and it affects you, until it leads to a decision like this one.’