Barcelona considering Xavi Hernandez as next manager
As the winner of four Champions League titles and eight La Liga titles alongside two trebles and numerous other accolades, there is nothing that Xavi Hernandez has not achieved with FC Barcelona. Considered by many as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, the Spanish international was Barca's midfield mainstay during the most successful years in the club's history.
Xavi left Barcelona in 2015, after spending almost 25 years with his boyhood club. However, according to recent reports, the midfield maestro could make a return to Camp Nou - ESPN reported that the club's director of football Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau are meeting with the legendary midfielder in Doha to explore the possibility of him becoming the first team’s new head coach.
The entire Barcelona team and coaching staff are currently in Saudi Arabia because of the Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Atletico Madrid, which the Catalan club lost last night after a late comeback from Diego Simeone's men. As such, contact with Xavi seems very likely as he is currently managing Qatar-based club Al Sadd.
Moments after the final whistle blew on the Blaugrana’s 2-3 defeat against Atletico, news outlet RAC1 radio reported that current manager Ernesto Valverde’s situation as the head coach had become ‘very delicate’ and that his fate could be decided at a board meeting on Monday. Despite Barcelona being on top of the La Liga table (they have the same number of points as Real Madrid), pressure on Valverde has been increasing for quite a while due to the club's spectacular failures in the Champions League in the past two seasons, and their lackluster performances in recent games.
Xavi played for Al Sadd for a couple of years post his departure from Spain, and as the manager, he has helped his team reach the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League, where they were eliminated by Al-Hilal FC 6–5 on aggregate.
‘My dream is to go back as Barça coach,’ the former midfielder had told TV3 in June last year. ‘That is my objective, but it's not an obsession.’
Xavi has a contract with Al Sadd till 2021 as he signed a two-year contract at the beginning of this season, but one would imagine that the club legend could leave if his old club comes calling.