Barcelona opened the doors of the Camp Nou stands at noon on November 8, 2021 to present Xavi Hernández as the new coach. There were queues even though it was a working Monday and little flags were distributed. Almost 10,000 people were in the stands to receive the Egarense. Euphoria took over that act. To the point that President Laporta raised Xavi’s arm as if he were a boxer who had knocked out his rival. On the grass, the protagonists ended up singing together, microphone in hand, the fans’ favorite song, “Un dia de partit.”

Thirty months later, after a Cup and Super Cup and two blank seasons, the Egarense leaves without being able to say goodbye to the fans in Montjuïc, as the Camp Nou is still under construction.

He couldn’t do it in the last Barcelona-Rayo. He could not be photographed with his family or say a few words. Just a few timid applause when they chanted his name. His future had already been decided but no one had told him yet. His agony was slow. An epilogue that is difficult to imagine with the images of the first day.

“You have made me excited,” said the coach. “Today is a historic day for the club,” concluded the president, who turned to another legend after firing Koeman.

Xavi represented the illusion, the return of the prodigal son, the desire to once again sublimate the style that led the club to be the reference. The networks were filled with inspirational montages. Cruyff gave instructions to Guardiola during the dream team era, and then Pep transmitted them on the wing to Xavi between 2008 and 2012, in the best Barça in history. It was a logical step. Barcelona fans needed Xavi’s booklet to work more than anyone.

And, at the beginning, little by little, with reinforcements, the team stranded with Koeman took off with Xavi. Between January and March he went 15 games without losing and, from suffering for not being in the Champions League, he began to dream of the League. But after the sporting and social slap from Eintracht, second place was considered good.

In his first full season, Xavi intervened tactically with great success. He invented the Barça of the four midfielders, with Gavi or Pedri as a false left winger. A touch that touched the sky in Riyadh, in the Spanish Super Cup, beating Madrid. Xavi won the League 1-0, the League of the levers and the League of Ter Stegen and Lewandowski.

But this season the coach not only failed to evolve the game to be more attractive, more offensive, more Barça, but he also lost competitiveness, overwhelmed by Girona, Madrid in Arabia, Villarreal and even PSG after Araújo’s expulsion. Precisely, his great Achilles heel has been Europe, where in three years he has suffered five eliminations: three in the Champions League and two in the Europa League. However, the final continental goodbye gave wings to Xavi, who regained strength and said goodbye to his delayed resignation.

“This Barça is not like the one 25 years ago, when the coach said I want this one, this one and this one,” he said to warn the partner that the context was different and the size of Barcelona too. The words countered with what will be his legacy: the quarry. The commitment to Lamine Yamal, Cubarsí, Fermín and Héctor Fort, a generation that should last many years. Nine days after that statement, Xavi learned that he will not fulfill the contract that he had renewed after being first ratified and finally ignored in a chaotic month.