Saturday, October 1

It’s official: the Xavi Hernández era begins at FC Barcelona [Video]

His first experience as a coach was at Al-Sadd Qatar.

David Ramos / Getty Images

Barcelona announced this Saturday through its official media the hiring of Xavi Hernandez as new coach of the first team for the remainder of the season and another two to replace Dutchman Ronald Koeman, who was dismissed on October 27 after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano.

The new 41-year-old coach of the Barça team, a native of Terrassa (Barcelona), He thus returns to the entity in which he triumphed as a player and from which he announced his departure six and a half years ago. In the last five years he has been at Al-Sadd Qatar, first as a player and since 2018 as a coach.

“FC Barcelona has reached an agreement with Xavi Hernández to become the coach of the first team for the remainder of this season and two more. Formed in the Barça quarry, he has left Al Sadd of Qatar after talks held in recent days between the coach, Barça and the Asian club, ”the Catalan club’s statement begins.

The intention of the Barça entity is for its new coach to arrive in Barcelona this weekend and be presented on Monday, November 8 at noon in an act open to the public at the Camp Nou, after which he will attend the media in an appearance public.

Xavi Hernández thus returns to what was his home for 24 years. With 767 official matches, only Leo Messi has defended the club’s shirt on more occasions (778). The Catalan won 25 titles during his 17 years as a first team player, between 1998 and 2015: Eight Leagues, four Champions Leagues, three King’s Cups, two Club World Cups, two European Super Cups and six Spanish Super Cups.

In total, Xavi spent 24 seasons defending his Barcelona jersey, whose youth team from youth football reached the 1991/92 season. His promotion to the first team took place in the summer of 1998 at the hands of Dutch coach Louis van Gaal.

“Now he returns to the team of his heart, this time not as a player but as a coach, where he will direct some of the players with whom he shared the dressing room in his time as a footballer, such as the four captains Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba, as well as Ter Stegen ”, recalls Barcelona on its official website.

Xavi, who leaves Al-Sadd at the top of the Qatari Super League table with three points ahead of Al-Duhail (with whom they tied at three in their last match on Wednesday), will occupy the Barcelona bench after the start of the Dutch Ronald Koeman and that in these last parties has been in charge of Sergi Barjuán on an interim basis.

The 41-year-old ex-player from Terrassa returns to the Barcelona club six and a half years after announcing his departure. The club is in a more than delicate economic situation and the team is also going through a difficult time, ninth in the LaLiga Santander standings, second in the Champions League, but above all in need of rediscovering its style.

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