ollowing FC Barcelona’s 1-0 loss against Rayo Vallecano on October 27, Koeman’s 14-month tenure came to an end, with the Dutch manager failing to impress.
FC Barcelona has signed another club star in an attempt to save an already sinking ship, with World Cup champion Xavi Hernandez leaving Qatari side Al Sadd and joining Barca on a contract that runs until the 2023-24 season.
“FC Barcelona has concluded an agreement with Xavi Hernandez to make him the first team coach for the remainder of this season and two further seasons,” according to a statement from the club.
After conversations with the club’s owners over the previous several days, Xavi Hernandez, a product of Barcelona’s development system, has left his present club, Al Sadd of Qatar.
Xavi Hernandez is anticipated to arrive in Barcelona this weekend, and on Monday, November 8, 2021, he will be introduced as the next FC Barcelona first-team coach in a public ceremony at Camp Nou.
He (Xavi Hernandez) is expected to have a press conference at the Ricard Maxenchs press room following the event.
In a statement released by the club, Al Sadd said: “After paying the provision stated in his contract, the club administration accepted Xavi’s move to Barcelona. Xavi is regarded as a significant figure in our history, and we wish him continued success.”
Xavi is one of Barcelona’s most decorated players, having won 25 trophies between 1997 and 2015 at Camp Nou, including eight Liga championships and the Champions League.
The Spaniard made 767 appearances for the club, second only to Lionel Messi in terms of appearances, and scored 85 goals and 185 assists.
Xavi departed Barcelona in 2015 for Al Sadd, retiring four years later before becoming the Qatari club’s permanent manager, winning the league title in his second season.
Under the 41-year-old, Al Sadd won five more trophies, and he has now decided it is time to return to Camp Nou after turning down prior offers from Barca owing to a lack of coaching experience. When new rumours appeared, he made it obvious to reporters that he wished to return home.
He stated, “I desperately want to return home. I sincerely hope that occurs. I’ve signed a contract, and now it’s up to the teams to work out the details. They are already aware of my situation.”
Barca executives travelled to Qatar to hash out a deal with Al Sadd and their top coaching target before a deal was finalised, and Xavi got his way.
Xavi will be a popular choice among Blaugrana fans, but he will have his work cut out for him to turn the team’s fortunes around after a terrible start to the 2021-22 season.
Barca had already lost three Liga games, including a heartbreaking El Clasico defeat at home to Real Madrid, with Koeman failing to strike the proper balance in the group following the departures of Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and a number of other key players in the summer.
New contracts have been signed. Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia have yet to achieve their full potential, and Sergio Aguero has been held out for the foreseeable future due to health issues, leaving the Catalan club in ninth place in La Liga and in risk of exiting the Champions League at the group stage.
Xavi will seek to have an immediate impact when Barca travels to Celta Vigo on Saturday before embarking on another international break that will allow the new manager to acclimate to his new surroundings.