‘There is a WAR that hurts the players’: Luis Suarez warns Xavi not to take the Barcelona job if Ronald Koeman is fired as the club struggles both on and off the pitch
- Barcelona’s struggles continued with a 3-0 defeat to Benfica on Wednesday
- Ronald Koeman is under enormous pressure as his job hangs by a thread
- Club legend Xavi Hernandez is one name mentioned as a potential successor
- But his former team-mate Luis Suarez has warned him not to be tempted
- Suarez spoke about a ‘war’ raging behind the scenes as the club suffers
Luis Suarez has warned his former team-mate Xavi Hernandez to resist the temptation of taking the Barcelona job, saying ‘there is a war that hurts the players’ raging at the Nou Camp.
With Ronald Koeman’s job hanging by a thread following a disastrous start to the season, Barcelona legend Xavi is one of the names in the frame to take over.
The former Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez have also been mooted as potential successors.
Luis Suarez, now at Atletico Madrid, has warned his former Barcelona team-mate Xavi to think twice before agreeing to succeed Ronald Koeman
Koeman is under severe pressure after Barcelona were beaten 3-0 by Benfica on Wednesday
Barcelona lost 3-0 to Benfica in their second Champions League group match on Wednesday night having also lost their opener to Bayern Munich by the same scoreline.
Though Koeman’s side are unbeaten in LaLiga after six games, they have won only three and dropped points to Cadiz and Granada.
Uruguayan striker Suarez, 34, was deemed surplus to requirements by Koeman in the summer of 2020 but went on to inspire his new club Atletico Madrid to the title.
He is still in touch with several members of the Barcelona squad and urged Xavi to be cautious because of the tension between Koeman and president Joan Laporta and other issues behind the scenes.
Barcelona legend Xavi, currently manager of Al Sadd, is among the favourites to take over
Barcelona’s players walk off with slumped shoulders after their 3-0 defeat to Benfica
He told Diario Sport: ‘At Barca, there is a war that hurts the players. I personally recommend to Xavi that he waits. This is not the ideal time to go to the club.
‘He is intelligent and know the difficulties of the club and he must wait for the right moment.’
Xavi currently coaches Al Sadd in the Qatari Stars League, the club where he finished his playing career after he left Barcelona in 2015. He guided the club to the league title in 2020-21.
In the wake of Wednesday’s humiliating loss in Portugal, Catalunya Radio linked Pirlo to the job, saying Laporta was an admirer of the Italian.
Andrea Pirlo is reportedly on Barcelona’s radar should they dismiss manager Ronald Koeman
Pirlo endured a nightmare rookie managerial campaign with Juventus last year in which they finished only fourth in Serie A.
Despite this, reports suggest he is well regarded in Barcelona and he would represent a cheaper hire than either Xavi or Martinez because is is currently a free agent.
Suarez, meanwhile, will aim to inflict further misery on his old club when Atletico host them on Saturday evening.
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