Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has reiterated his desire to coach the Camp Nou outfit one day.
Speaking in an interview with FIFA, Xavi said:
“Everyone sees me as the Barca coach one day. I respect Barca a lot and I also have respect for Koeman, the current coach. But I hope [to return as coach]. I won’t hide that, but with respect for the current management team at the club, who are in the middle of [three] competitions, and I wish them the best.
“We will see who comes in as president in the next month. But of course, it’s a dream to coach Barca. There’s no doubt about that.”
The 41-year-old currently manages Al Saad in the Qatar Stars League. He has guided the club to four major trophies during his time in the dugout.
Xavi had been approached for the Barcelona job after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde in January 2020, but the iconic midfielder turned down the opportunity at that stage.
It is believed that he wanted to usher in a new era instead of entering the fray at the end of an unproductive period.
The upcoming presidential election will be a major determining factor in who becomes the next coach of Barcelona.
Is Xavi the right man to steer Barcelona into the next era?
It is a widely held view that Xavi will one day manage his boyhood club, and his statements have further strengthened that opinion.
One of the presidential candidates, Victor Font, is adamant that the Al Saad manager is his preferred man for the managerial job at Camp Nou.
Xavi's legendary playing career means that he is well-grounded in the ethos and principles guiding Barcelona. However, history has shown us that great players do not necessarily make great coaches.
The current crisis rocking the club might take a few years to stabilize, and the next couple of seasons could potentially be a very fallow period for the club.
It remains to be seen what Lionel Messi's future holds, but it is highly likely that this will be his last season with the Blaugrana.
The Rosario native's impending departure makes any coach's job much more difficult owing to his immense abilities. However, it also offers them a window of opportunity to create their own iconic legacy.
Xavi's coaching pedigree so far suggests that he could be an ideal fit for Barcelona. Whether that happens is anybody's guess.