Xavi Hernández, the Catalan player considered one of the best midfielders ever, could have returned to Barça this week as coach. Instead, however, he turned down the offer. In a press conference ahead of the Qatar Cup final, he confirmed he'd been approached about the job, but said he didn't accept because it was "too early".
"I received an offer from Barcelona in the presence of Eric Abidal and Òscar Grau, but I didn't accept it, especially because it's very soon to train Barça, but it will remain my dream in the future to be Barça's coach," he said.
The former Barça star moved to Qatari club Al-Sadd in 2015. He retired from playing at the end of the 2019 season, but stayed on at the club to take over as manager.
After it became clear last week that Ernesto Valverde's time at the club was up, days of uncertainty began, including many meetings. Xavi said first he told his family about the offer, then his players in Qatar because they were following the story. "For three days I wasn't in the best condition, but now I'm totally focussed on Al-Sadd," he said.
In the end, Quique Setién became Barça's new manager, with a contract that runs until 30th June 2022. Xavi is "delighted": "I love his way of working and hope he's successful with the team."