It has become something of a running joke that every Barcelona manager suffers an extreme loss of hair while in the job, but it comes from a reality of an extremely stressful job. Even Xavi Hernandez, who has the good will of the entire Barcelona ‘entorno’, has admitted that he asks himself if it is worth it sometimes.
Xavi is enjoying a relatively good season, and even he has received criticism for the style of play that Barcelona have been playing of late.
Speaking at a local council event in his home town of Terrassa, Xavi opened up to the press, in this case Marca, about the strain of the job.
“I am constantly judged and criticised. It’s hard, I have a family and small children. There are many moments when it doesn’t pay to be a Barca coach.”
“And even more so if you’re a cule like me. It’s very hard when they tell you that you’re not good or that you don’t have personality. Sometimes you don’t find out about the criticism and a friend calls you telling you that they are killing you. The worst days of my life have been as a Barca coach.”
Xavi had even questioned whether the prospect of success was a sufficient pay-off.
“On many occasions I have asked myself if it is worth it. I don’t need anything financially… but I’m a Barca fan and I want to help the club.”
Famously while at Barcelona, Xavi’s former manager Pep Guardiola only signed one-year contracts with the team. In part, that was to keep all sides on edge and competitive, but also to give him an easy out. Guardiola visibly showed and verbally expressed the strain of managing at Camp Nou – it does appear to take more of a toll on those linked most closely with the club. Perhaps Xavi may take a similar approach when talks arise over a new contract.