Barcelona star asks board to sack manager Ernesto Valverde

Superstar Lionel Messi konnte dem Spiel des FC Barcelona in Granada keine Wende geben...
GRANADA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 21: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona reacts during the Liga match between Granada CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on September 21, 2019 in Granada, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has asked the club to sack manager Ernesto Valverde after a poor start to the new season, as per Spanish news outlet Diario Gol.

The reigning La Liga champions have suffered a poor start to the new campaign, winning just 2 of their opening 6 matches in all competitions.

Sunday’s clash against Granada saw the Catalans’ season hit a new low as despite having the likes of Messi, Suarez and Griezmann in their side, Barcelona were deservedly beaten at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes.

Defeat at the hands of the Andalusians means that it is now Barcelona’s worst start to a season for 25 years, but even more worrying for their fans is the performance their players put-in on Sunday.

Playing against a newly promoted side, the Blaugranas managed to muster just 2-shots on goal throughout the 90 minutes, while constantly looking on the back foot at the other end of the pitch.

What's behind Barcelona's poor run of form?

Barcelona Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona
SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 25: Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona looks on during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Barcelona and Valencia at Estadio Benito Villamarin on May 25, 2019 in Seville, . (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

While there are many factors behind Barcelona’s early season troubles, it is the form of the Catalans away from the Camp Nou which has made matters specially worse for Ernesto Valverde.

Since the appointment of Valverde in summer 2017, Camp Nou has been a fortress for the club. The Catalans have won all but two of the 14 games that they have played at their home turf since then.

On the road, it is an altogether different story. Valverde’s side have failed to win any of their last games away from their home, with their last victory on the road coming way back in April.

Also, while they were able to draw against a formidable Borussia Dortmund side during the weekend, it was their luck and not the performance which helped the Catalans claim 1-point from that fixture.

To his credit, Valverde admits that his team’s away form worries him: “”I’m worried. Away from home we are not getting good results and when that happens a few times, like now, it’s a symptom of not [playing] very well. We are not playing good games.”


KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 26:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF kisses hsi girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez as they celebrate his side victory following winning the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 26, 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Messi wants Xavi to replace Valverde

Mit Geld geht viel im Fußball.
DOHA, QATAR - JANUARY 04: Hassan Al Thawadi, the Secretary General of the Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) poses with former Spanish football professional and World Cup 2022 ambassador Xavi Hernandez during a presentation at the at Khalifa International Stadium on January 4, 2018 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

In addition to asking the club’s higher-ups to replace the current Barcelona manager, Lionel Messi has also informed them that former midfielder Xavi Hernandez is his choice to replace Valverde in the Barcelona dug out.

The Spanish World Cup winning midfielder enjoys a legendary reputation among the Barcelona faithful. Alongside the likes of Messi and Iniesta, he was the linchpin of Barcelona squad which won 19-trophies between 2008 and 2012.

Xavi is currently managing Qatari side Al Sadd, with whom he finished his career after departing from the Barcelona scene all those years ago.

Also, while his loyalties currently lie somewhere else, most Barcelona fans expect Xavi to one day come back to Spain and help the club with his knowledge of the game.

Still, with Al sadd currently trying their luck in the semifinal stage of the AFC Champions League, Barcelona would have to wait until at least December if they decide to appoint him as their new manager.

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