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Official: Xavi Hernández new coach of FC Barcelona
This Friday the news of the hiring of Xavi Hernández by the Barcelona first team was made official, after the sports director of football Mateu Alemany and the vice president of the club Rafa Yuste reached an agreement with Al Sadd.
The news of the return of the former Barcelona midfielder has been released in the past and that he is now returning to lead the team from the bench as was his wish and that of the club. Xaví will take on his first great challenge in his time as a coach and will be making his debut on November 20.
His signing is official
On this occasion, the Al Sadd club was the first to confirm the news through their official networks, and now it only remains for the Catalan club to do the same. The statement from the Qatari club was as follows:
"The club's administration has agreed to the transfer of Xavi Hernández to Barcelona after paying the penalty clause stipulated in the contract. We agreed with FC Barcelona on respectful cooperation in the future, Xavi has become an important part of Al Sadd. We wish him every success in this new phase. "
This was explained by the general director of the Qatari club, Turki Al-Ali. He also added: "Xavi had informed us in recent days of his desire to be able to live the experience as Barcelona's technical director, especially at this critical moment when they are going through an economic crisis, and we understand this and decide not to get in their way".
"Both Xavi and his family will be welcomed in Doha and the friendship will continue," added the CEO of the Qatari club.
Xavi and his career as a technical director
The former Spanish player began his career as a technical director in 2019 with Al Sadd, the same team with which he had played his last seasons and with which he retired. It was like this that with the Qatari club he found a perfect environment to grow on the bench.
So much so, that in the past Xavi Hernández rejected an offer from Barcelona to lead the first team. At that time, Xavi felt that he did not have the necessary experience to take on that great challenge that he is taking on today. This thanks to all the experience gained in Qata r and where he got a good repertoire of titles.
After two years and with several titles in his pocket, specifically seven, the Catalan has said yes to Barcelona. Clearly it will be a very complicated task for the Spanish coach considering the present of Barcelona that is not the best at history.
The Catalan club now has a quality squad, but that is far from what it has had in recent years. The first objective of Xavi Hernández will be to restore confidence to the players, which is already lost and try to straighten the course of the team both in the Champions League and in La Liga.
For this, the match against Dinamo Kiev for the Champions League last week was essential for the club. Xavi's is a long-term project, which is why the club knows they must be patient. It is a complicated reconstruction due to the sporting and economic situation of the club, so they cannot demand as much at the beginning.
Basically the team is the same, but with a new coach who will provide new game ideas. That is why Xavi is expected to find the best possible team as soon as possible and at least be able to lead the team to Champions positions thinking about next season.
The Spanish coach has not wanted to miss this opportunity after having rejected in the past the possibility of directing the Barcelona bench. The first time he was called was after the dismissal of Ernesto Valverde, when Oscar Grau and Eric Abidal went to Doha to try to convince him.
After Xavi's rejection, Barça hired coach Quique Satién. After Satién's dismissal, the Barça club wanted to look for the Spaniard again, but many doubts arose, such as President Joan Laporta doubting the Catalan's experience with big teams and preferring to leave him one more time in Qatar.
This is how Joan Laporta decided on Ronald Koeman despite accepting that this was not the type of coach she wanted for her project. Koeman who could never find the magic to get Barcelona out of this sporting crisis and who ended up being fired after a series of poor results.
Basically, Barça is looking with Xavi Hernández for a new Luis Enrique or in the best of cases a new Pep Guardiola. So the Catalan will have a lot of pressure on him to return Barcelona to its best times with a collective football and an example worldwide.
Laporta decides for Xavi
Despite so many doubts with Xavi Hernández, Joan Laporta has accepted the hiring of the former player of the club. On this occasion, the president is inclined to everything he did as a Barça player and to the titles he won in Qatar, and he knows very well that he is one of the few who can bring joy back to the stands of the Camp Nou.
Last Wednesday, after having achieved the victory against Dinamo Kiev, Mateu Alemany and Rafa Yuste traveled to Doha to close the signing of the Spaniard and agree to leave with Al Sadd.
Xavi's recession clause was between five and ten million euros, a sum that Barcelona had to pay to be able to take over his services.
Despite this clause, the Spaniard would take the word that the owner of the club gave him, Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Thani, when he renewed the contract with the Qatari club where they agreed that he would not place any obstacles if the club that was going to look for him, it was FC Barcelona.
However, President Al-Thani referred to a normal departure at the end of the season and not in the middle of it, thus altering the tranquility and stability of the team as has happened. For this reason, he has demanded the payment of the player's release clause.
This is how Barcelona will have to balance the payment periods to postpone some amount, a value that is between five and ten million euros that the Catalan club will have to plague the Qatari club and all this is added to the twelve with which Ronald must compensate Koeman after further dismissing the salary of his new coach and assistants.
This operation to find a new coach for the club has cost Joan Laporta around 25 million euros, a high figure for the economic moment that the club is going through and that the president hopes not to regret in the future, considering that this signing him has caused some doubts.
Xavi Hernández has not wanted to force his departure from the Al-Sadd club, he is aware that he is the ambassador of the Qatar 2022 World Cup and that his future may be linked to the Arab country. In the same way, the Spaniard feels very grateful to the Qatari team for the opportunity they gave him and all the resources they have given him to train as a coach.
Now, Xavi will be arriving at the Camp Nou with his work team to take on the greatest challenge of his life with one of the best clubs in the world, but in one of the worst moments of the institution in its history. For the Catalan to sign with Barça, he only demanded one condition and that was to work with the same team.
It is about Sergio Alegre and his brother Óscar Hernández who will be his assistants, Carlos Nogueira the physiotherapist, The physical trainer will be Iván Torres and Toni Lobo along with David Prast Sergio García his team of analysts.
Despite the hiring of the Spanish man, the now interim coach Sergi Barjuan will direct his last game with the first for Barça this coming Saturday against Celta in Balaídos. Which is why Xavi Hernández will lead the club until after the national team break, so he will have two weeks to make his debut with the Barça club.