Xavi Hernandez reveals why he turned down Barcelona
The Catalan club parted ways with Ernesto Valverde earlier this week and appointed Quique Setien as their new manager. Although Xavi was first offered the chance to become Valverde's successor, the Al Sadd head coach respectfully declined.
Xavi held several meetings with Barcelona officials
The former Barcelona midfielder explained why he didn't take the Camp Nou role in his pre-match press conference ahead of Friday's Qatar Cup final against Al Duhail.
"Yes, I received an offer from Barcelona when (sporting director) Eric Abidal and (CEO) Oscar Grau were here but I didn't accept it, mainly because it's too soon to coach Barcelona. But let nobody doubt that it's my dream in the future to coach Barca."
It has been reported that Xavi held three seperate meetings with key figures at the Camp Nou before deciding against taking the managerial role at his former club. The 39-year-old is contracted with AL Sadd until June 2020 and remains fully committed to guiding them to the Qatar Cup success on Friday.
Despite turning down the offer, Xavi is seen as a certainty to take over the reigns at Barcelona one day. Spanish media reckons that Setien's appointment is done to restore the attacking and expansive playing style at the club before Xavi eventually becomes the new Blaugrana manager.
Valverde may have won league titles with Barcelona but his way of working could never get the fans by his side. His playing style was no where near those of Johan Cryuff and Pep Guardiola. The team also suffered emberassing Champions League exits against AS Roma and Liverpool in consecutive seasons which eventually led to his sacking.
Setien on the other hand is seen as a man who shares Cryuff's ideology and beliefs making him worthy of coaching Barcelona. Even Xavi was full of praises for the 61-year-old coach and believes that Setien will be an instant hint with the Camp Nou faithfulls. Xavi was quoted saying:
"I'm really pleased to see Setién in charge of Barcelona. I really like the way he works and I wish him all the success in the world."
Barcelona's first match under their new manager is on Sunday against Granada.
Published 16 Jan 2020, 20:33 IST