Legendary Barcelona midfielder Xavi admits he would one day hope to be in charge at the club. But has revealed the opportunity came too soon, he said No!
Barcelona dismissed former manager, Ernesto Valverde, in the wake of a 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the inaugural expanded Supercopa de Espana.
His dismissal was quickly followed by Quique Setien’s appointment, a decision which may have taken a different route, had Xavi accepted Barça’s advances to take the role at his former club.
Xavi [Hernandez] was the Catalans’ primary target, and although the 39-year-old hopes to one day return to the club as manager, he rejected a chance to. As he feels he needs more experience if he is to return to Catalunya.
“Yes, I received an offer from Barcelona in the presence of Eric Abidal and Oscar Grau, but I didn’t accept it,” the current Al-Sadd coach told reporters on Thursday.
“It’s too soon to coach Barcelona, but it will continue to be my dream to be Barcelona coach in the future.”
Xavi admits to having his head turned, as he had discussions over the possibility of taking the role at Barcelona. But insists he is now fully focused ahead of Friday’s Qatar Cup final against Al-Duhail.
“I told my family first and then the Al-Sadd players because they were following the topic,” Xavi said when asked who first learned he had turned down Barca’s approach.
“I wasn’t in my best position during the three days, but I’m now totally focused on Al -Sadd.”
While Barcelona may have missed out on Xavi this time, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has no doubt he would one day return to coach the club in the future.
He revealed to the sport, saying: “Xavi will be the coach of Barca one day, I have no doubt. He is very capable, he’s a person that perfectly understands our football, he’s hugely keen to do it and one day he will.”
New manager Quique Setien will now be charged with returning the club to a stable place. Although there are doubts the club has a long term plan for him, with reports the head coach has a break clause in his contract that could see him leave at the end of the season.