Saturday, 4 December, 2021

Barca hail return of ‘absolute legend’ Xavi as coach

Barcelona's new coach Xavi Hernandez is due to arrive in Spain on Saturday with the legendary midfielder facing an immense challenge to restore the fallen Catalan giants to their former glory.

The Spaniard left Camp Nou to play for Qatari club Al Sadd in 2015, after making 767 appearances for Barcelona, with eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues among his 25 trophies.

"It's time to come home. Welcome, Xavi," Barca tweeted in the early hours of Saturday morning, as Spain slept.

"It wasn't goodbye, it was see you later," it wrote, along with a video montage of the player's departure in 2015.

Video footage on Twitter showed the 41-year-old with his family at Doha airport, hours after the announcement of the deal with Al Sadd, for his flight back to his homeland to come to the rescue of the club he joined as a youngster.

Barcelona said in a statement it had reached an agreement with Xavi to become first team coach for the rest of the current season and two more seasons, replacing the sacked Ronald Koeman.

"It is expected that Xavi Hernandez will arrive in Barcelona this weekend and that on Monday 8 November his presentation as new FC Barcelona first team coach will take place in an event open to the public at Camp Nou," it said.