Xavi Hernandez Explains Why He Turned Down The Barcelona Job
Xavi Hernandez has explained why he passed up on the chance for a dream return to Barcelona.
The club's all-time appearance maker was was one of the leading names to replace Ernesto Valverde after the Spaniard was relieved of his duties following the Spanish Super Cup semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid.
Xavi, current manager of Al-Sadd, was sounded out over the vacant managerial position prior the appointment of former Real Betis boss Quique Setien, but while he's admitted an offer was on the table, he didn't feel as the timing was quite right.
"Yes, I received an offer from Barcelona in the presence of Eric Abidal and Oscar Grau, but I didn't accept it," he told reporters, as per Goal.
"It's too soon to coach Barcelona, but it will continue to be my dream to be Barcelona coach in the future.
"I told my family first and then the Al-Sadd players because they were following the topic. I wasn't in my best position during the three days, but I'm now totally focused on Al -Sadd."
The 39-year old hung up his boots in May last year, playing his final game as a professional football in Al Sadd's Asian Champions League game against Persepolis of Iran.
Almost immediately after retirement, he travelled to Madrid to complete his UEFA Pro licence and soon became permanent manager of Al-Sadd.
But as he has repeatedly stressed on a number of occasions that his ultimate goal is to be back at his beloved Barcelona.
"Now I start my career at zero, I can't start with a Ferrari or a transatlantic ship, I have to start with a small boat, a small car, test myself, gain experience, and yes, it's true that the objective is to return to Barcelona, but I'm calm," Xavi told Efe,via Barca Blaugranes.
"The idea is to start as a coach in Qatar, where there is not as much pressure, to test myself and to gain experience, and the objective is to return to Europe and most of all to Barcelona."
Xavi came through Barcelona's youth academy and made his first-team debut against RCD Mallorca.
He then went on to make over 500 appearances for the Blaugrana and won a total of 25 major honours, including eight La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys, six Supercopa de Españas and four Champions Leagues.