Barcelona appoints club legend Xavi as head coach

TEHRAN, Nov. 06 (MNA) – Futbol Club Barcelona have named former midfielder and captain Xavi Hernandez as head coach on a contract until 2024, following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.

The La Liga club received the green light on Friday to sign the 41-year-old after they paid the release clause in his contract with Qatari side Al-Sadd, Al-Jazeera reported.

Xavi played for Barcelona for 17 years, making 767 appearances and winning 25 trophies, including four Champions League wins and eight league titles.

“FC Barcelona has reached an agreement with Xavi Hernandez for him to become a first-team coach for the rest of the current season and two more seasons,” the club said in a statement that was headlined “WELCOME BACK HOME, XAVI!”

“Xavi Hernandez, a youth team product at Barca, has left his current club, Al-Sadd of Qatar, after talks held over the last few days with the owners of the club.”

Dutch coach Koeman was sacked after a 1-0 defeat by Rayo Vallecano last month which left Barca, as it is commonly known, ninth in La Liga.

The club is still in ninth place after Sergi Barjuan was appointed as caretaker coach and sit nine points behind leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand.

Barjuan is set to remain in charge for their league match at Celta Vigo on Saturday, with Xavi arriving in Barcelona this weekend before his presentation on Monday.

“It wasn’t goodbye, it was ‘see you soon’. The Camp Nou has always been my home,” Xavi said in a video addressed to the fans.

“You’re my fans, my people, the club that I love the most. And now, I’m coming home. See you soon, Culers. Forca Barca!”

Xavi’s first game would be a local derby against Espanyol on November 20, after the international break.

A former Spain international, Xavi joined Al Sadd as a player in 2015, becoming the head coach after hanging up his boots in 2019. In April, he led his side to the Qatari domestic league title with the team unbeaten.

ZZ/

News Code 180416

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