A familiar face returns to take the mantle at the Camp Nou.
Xavi has been named the new permanent manager for Barcelona, after the club sacked former coach, Ronald Koeman.
The news of his return has been confirmed by Qatari club Al Sadd, which Xavi has managed since his retirement in 2019.
Ronald Koeman’s time as Barca’s manager came to an end following a run of defeats which including a 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano on October 27. That match was the determinant for his sacking, after failing to convince the club’s board of his longevity at the club.
Another club legend now returns to steer the club’s ship back in the right direction.
“Club administration have approved the transfer of Xavi to Barcelona after the payment of the value of the penalty clause stipulated in his contract,” Al Sadd stated in an official club statement.
“Xavi is considered an important part of our history and we wish him every success in the future.”
Xavi is one the most decorated players in Barcelona’s history. During his time at Camp Nou between 1997-2015, he won 25 trophies including eight La Liga titles and the Champions League.
He made a total of 767 appearances for the club, scoring 85 goals and assisting 185. Only Lionel Messi 1bettered his appearance record for the club.
The Spaniard left Barcelona for Al Sadd in 2015 on a free transfer, before retiring four years later to become the Qatar-based club’s manager.
Xavi delivered the league title during his second season at the helm, and went on to win five more trophies.
When rumours of a return to Camp Nou first surfaced, Xavi stated that he was interested, but he wanted to gain some coaching experience first. However, he his now ready to return home to manage his favorite club.
“I really want to go home. I hope it happens. I have a contract and now the clubs have to negotiate. They already know my position,” he said.
Xavi, however, has work to do as he hopes to rejuvenate a sorry Barca squad, currently sitting ninth in the league and on verge of being dumped out of the Champions League at the group stage.
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