In front of thousands of fans at Camp Nou, Xavi Hernandez was officially unveiled as Barcelona’s new head coach until 2024. The former midfielder was able to join his former team after the Catalan giants paid his release clause to Qatari club Al-Sadd. Xavi is expected to begin his coaching career with Barca in the derby against Espanyol on November 20. Read more for our live football match and odds.
“It’s a historic day for Barcelona. Welcome, Xavi,” an emotional Laporta told the supporters during the ceremony attended by Barca officials, Xavi’s family and cheering supporters in the stands of Camp Nou. The Qataris played a hard ball during the negotiation about Xavi’s release clause until a $5.8 million release clause had been agreed. Follow us to see more international friendlies updates.
“Thank you all. I don’t want to get emotional but I am, I feel goosebumps,” Xavi told the fans after penning the contract with Laporta. “This is the biggest club in the world and I`m going to work hard to reach your expectations. Barcelona can`t accept a draw or a defeat. We have to win all the games.” After the presentation Xavi talked about his plans of making new rules for the players.
“We have to start with new rules that are going to be strict. It’s not a matter of being tough, it’s about having norms,” Xavi told reporters. “When we had norms in the locker room things were good, when we didn`t, it went bad. So, we need to have order. Being professionals. “It’s A medium to long-term project but we’ll need to work really hard to find the results.”
Xavi, who made 767 appearances for the club as a player, will head into the Barcelona manager post with an impressive record in Qatar. He became the team coach right after retiring from being a player, leading the team to seven different trophies, three of them in 2021, including the Qatari Super Cup. He also led the team to the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League.
It is learnt that Barca have been plagued with several setbacks this summer, with Lionel Messi leaving the club for Paris Saint-Germain and debts of more than a billion euros ($1.16billion). Earlier, Ronald Koeman was sacked as head coach of Barcelona after just 14 months in charge and following their worst start to a season since the 1987-88 campaign.
The five-time European champions, is currently ninth in LaLiga on 15 points from 10 games so far this season. They are six points behind leaders Real Madrid, who beat them 2-1 at the Camp Nou in the first El Clasico, and are third in their Champions League group with three points from three matches after suffering 3-0 defeats in their opening two games against Bayern Munich and Benfica.
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