Xavi to be next Barca manager as Al Sadd confirm agreement
- Xavi won 8 La Liga, 4 Champions League and other major honours as a Barcelona player
- He was intergral in Spain's Euros wins in 2008 and 2012 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup triumph
- Xavi has been manager of Qatari club Al Sadd since 2019
Midfield legend Xavi Hernandez will take over as Barcelona head coach after Qatari club Al Sadd on Friday confirmed an agreement to terminate his contract. Xavi will now replace Ronald Koeman as permanent manager, although Barcelona have not made an official announcement yet.
"The administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract. We’ve agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future," Al Sadd CEO Turki Al-Ali said in a statement.
"Xavi is an important part of Al-Sadd’s history and we wish him success."
Barcelona had made contact with Xavi a few weeks ago, eyeing him as a long-term replacement for Koeman, who was fired after the defeat to Rayo Vallecano last Wednesday. While the 41-year-old was keen on a return, negotiations with Al Sadd were proving harder than expected with the Doha-based club not keen on letting their manager go.
"Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way."
Barca are currently ninth in La Liga with just four wins and four draws from 11 games. Sergi Barjuan took over as interim manager after Koeman's dismissal and led the club to a draw against Alaves and the 1-0 win over Dinamo Kyiv that took the Catalans to second place in their Champions League Group E.
The former Barca full-back is expected to be in charge for Saturday's encounter against Celta Vigo before Xavi takes over the reins.
Xavi is one of the most decorated players in both Barcelona and Spain's history and was an intergral member during both teams' golden years. He won eight La Liga, four Champions League and other manjor honours in 767 appearances in the Blaugrana, apart from the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.