Barcelona recently announced that Xavi Hernandez will return to Camp Nou and succeed Ronald Koeman as coach. Barcelona announced in the early hours of Saturday that Xavi has agreed to a contract through to 2024 after the former Spain midfielder was released from his contract at Qatari club Al-Sadd.
“FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with Xavi Hernandez for him to become first team coach for the rest of the current season and two more seasons,” Barcelona said in a statement headlined “Welcome back home, Xavi!”.
“Xavi Hernandez, a youth team product at Barça, has left his current club, Al-Sadd of Qatar, after talks held over the last few days with the owners of the club.”
Xavi shall start on Monday and his first game shall be the home Catalan derby against Espanyol on Nov. 20. Interim coach Sergi Barjuan will also remain in charge for this Saturday’s match at Celta Vigo.
Xavier Hernández Creus, known as Xavi, is a Spanish professional football manager and former player who is the manager of La Liga club Barcelona. Widely considered one of the best midfielders of all time, Xavi is renowned for his passing, vision, ball retention, and positioning.
“It wasn’t goodbye, it was ‘see you soon,'” Xavi said in a video addressed to the fans. “The Camp Nou has always been my home,
“You’re my fans, my people, the club that I love the most. And now, I’m coming home. See you soon, Culers. Forca Barca!”
Al Sadd had released a statement on Friday morning confirming Xavi’s departure.
“The Al Sadd administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract,” the statement read. “We have agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future.
The team has really struggled to move on from the loss of Messi to PSG, with the club’s gross debt of €1.4 billion making it impossible to invest in new players.
Therefore, like Koeman previously did, Xavi will have to work with a crop of talented youngsters, including Spain internationals Ansu Fati,
He may have to oversee the final years of the careers of players who were previously his teammates, with Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets still playing key roles at the club.