Inside Spain: Hansi Flick in at Barcelona, why Xavi is out, and strange Real Madrid stories

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Inside Spain is a weekly instalment brought to you by Football España, providing an insight into all of the major stories coming out of the rich and intense climes of La Liga and beyond.

Barcelona completed their U-turn on Xavi Hernandez, appointing Hansi Flick as the new boss. Xavi’s sacking was confirmed last Friday, and while there were plenty of reasons for that, the question being asked is why did Barcelona back him publicly a month to the day before his sacking.

Nobody has the answer, as President Joan Laporta is yet to explain the decision, but the inside scoop is that Xavi, Deco and Laporta seemingly had irreconcilable differences on what direction to take the squad in. The former manager’s discourse in the press also hurt him. What will have hurt Xavi is finding out not from Laporta, but from agent Pini Zahavi, who is behind the move for Flick.

Flick’s arrival is something of an unknown, but he won’t declare his intetions publicly for at least a month, with his presentation to be saved until July. Reportedly he is still getting to grips with the language, which is a concerning sign.

Meanwhile it’s been something of a strange week as Real Madrid prepare for the Champions League final. Rodrygo Goes said that his words were taking out of context when he said ‘anything could happen with his future’, but there is very real interest from the big hitters in the Premier League. They are all too aware that Kylian Mbappe’s arrival could perhaps cause a loss of minutes. Carlo Ancelotti was typically amusing during Real Madrid’s media day, but a story also came out this week that they were willing to sell Eder Militao this summer.

Jose Luis Mendilibar became just the second manager ever to win European competitions in back-to-back years with different teams after Rafael Benitez. His Conference League win also came with him being the third manager of the season, as was the case at Sevilla.

The Europa League kings won’t be in Europe for the first time in 12 years, but appear to have found a new manager (a sixth in two years) in Garcia Pimienta, a former Barcelona academy coach, who is leaving Las Palmas. It doesn’t look as if he will have Sergio Ramos at his disposal though, as he moves closer to a move to Major League Soccer. Star Girona man Aleix Garcia is in the Spanish preliminary squad for the Euros, but appears to have agreed a move to Bayer Leverkusen – Xabi Alonso is another good Spanish manager to learn under.

 

More Stories Aleix Garcia FC Barcelona Hansi Flick Inside Spain Jose Luis Mendilibar Pini Zahavi Real Madrid CF Rodrygo Goes Sergio Ramos Sevilla CF xavi hernandez

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