Xavi Laporta BarcelonaGetty

Winners and losers of Xavi's Barcelona U-turn: Joy for Joan Laporta - but does this spell trouble for Robert Lewandowski and the old guard?

So, it's confirmed: Se queda. Xavi announced defiantly in late January that he would be leaving Barcelona at the end of the campaign, and asserted that there would be no circumstances in which he might return. A Champions League win wouldn't be enough, nor would a miraculous La Liga turnaround. His decision, he insisted, was made.

Except, it wasn't. Barca, after months of trying, have convinced their manager who seemed so certain to depart to stick around. Quite why they have been so desperate to change the legendary midfielder's mind isn't wholly clear, though. Xavi hasn't necessarily done poorly in Catalunya, but there is a sense that he has taken the club as far as he can.

The Blaugrana, really, need a fresh face in the dugout, but Barca have convinced him to stay all the same, with the coach set to see out the rest of his contract, which expires in 2025. It all sets up an interesting season ahead, as Barca face the reality of trying to compete with a surging Real Madrid with a largely similar set-up to the one that has struggled so much at times in 2023-24. Either way, it should make for interesting viewing.

GOAL takes a look at the winners and losers of Xavi's decision to remain at Barcelona...

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