Xavi ready to return to Barcelona as coach

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru, June 29: Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez, who currently coaches Qatar Stars League (QSL) champions Al Sadd, has spoken up again about his ambition of managing the Catalan giants.

Xavi, who spent a two-decade long career at Camp Nou, had reportedly turned down the chance to replace Ernesto Valverde in January, but is now keen on taking up the top job and help Barcelona get back to winning ways.

The current champions are struggling this time, following the resumption of La Liga after the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic-enforced break, with arch-rivals Real Madrid stealing a march over them.

Real capitalises on Barcelona's struggles

"The biggest hope I've now is to be Barcelona coach and get them back to winning ways. Not me, but these players and Barcelona triumphing. And as a consequence, our technical staff, who're preparing for it a lot and it makes us really excited," Xavi was quoted as saying in an interview with Sport.

The 40-year-old, had won his second trophy with Al Sadd when he guided the former AFC Champions League winners to Qatar Cup triumph in January, days after turning down the Barcelona offer.

Xavi Leads Al Sadd to glory after declining Barcelona offer

At that time Xavi said it was 'too soon' for him to coach the La Liga champions, but now he has made it clear that becoming Barcelona head coach is very much in his scheme of things.

"I'm a club man. I would like to return at the right moment to start a project from zero. I've said it a lot of times but I want to take footballing decisions at Barcelona.

"It's clear that after the elections the stage would be set, of course. I'm not ruling anything out. They came for me in January, we were speaking. I told them the circumstances and timing weren't right," Xavi added.

Ever since his trophy-laden Barcelona career ended in 2015, Xavi has shifted his base to Doha and was initially a player before taking up the coaching role with Al Sadd at the beginning of the 2019-20 season.

He is also one of the global brand ambassadors of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup and had agreed for a pay cut in the battle against COVID-19 apart from contributing generoulsy to a clinic in Barcelona in the fight against the virus.

Xavi is Qatar 2022 brand ambassador

Coronavirus: Xavi takes pay cut

Coronavirus Xavi donates generously

The Spaniard had even named ex-Barcelona team-mates Carles Puyol and Jordi Cruyff as the men he wants by his side should he get the chance to fulfil his dream of coaching at Camp Nou.

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Puyol was Xavi's team-mate at Camp Nou for 15 years and though Cruyff had managed Barcelona in the mid-90s, Xavi said he would be his first choice as technical secretary.

"I would like to work together with people in whom I've confidence. We're talking about Carles Puyol, who was captain of Barcelona, and Jordi Cruyff, a very good businessman and with a lot of experience as technical secretary."

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