By Chris King • 29 October 2021 • 4:56
Xavi reportedly lined up to replace Koeman at Barcelona.
Barcelona FC president Joan Laporta reportedly made a phone call late on Wednesday evening (October 27), to one Xavi Hernandez. This call was made just after his sacking of Dutch coach Ronald Koeman, with Barca just having lost away to Rayo Vallecano.
Allegedly, the topic of the call was Xavi replacing Koeman as Barcelona coach, to which he is reported to have said yes. For the time being though, Sergi Barjuan has been installed as the new Barcelona interim coach.
Laporta had a similar experience 13 years ago when looking for a new coach. At that time, he plumped for a man who was then the Barca B team coach, one Pep Guardiola. The rest is history. Xavi’s coaching experience right now is limited, as was Guardiola’s at that time. Currently managing Al Sadd in Qatar, the former Barcelona midfielder, and club legend, has very little to fall back on after only being the manager of the Qatari club since May 2019.
The deal for him to take over at Camp Nou is allegedly due to be confirmed once an agreement is reached to terminate his contract as manager of Al Sadd. After 767 appearances for the Blaugrana, Xavi will hardly be a stranger to the fans, and he will most definitely be welcomed with open arms. But, for sure, his task of turning the Catalan giants around is not going to be so easy.
Xavi will be inheriting a squad of players that includes former teammates including Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, but who are no longer at the peak of their careers. Added to this, an ageing Sergio Aguero was brought in at the same time as Lionel Messi moved to PSG. The club also lost another top striker with Antoine Griezmann moving to Atletico Madrid.
Now 41, Xavi’s pedigree as a player is unquestionable. He won eight La Liga titles, and the Champions League four times, forming part of one of the greatest midfield combinations in football history. In total, Xaxi won 27 trophies at Barcelona, scoring 85 times, and making 184 assists. But, it remains to be seen how he will cope with the pressures of being the head coach of one of the biggest football clubs in the world.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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