Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández has returned to the Camp Nou as the new coach of his boyhood club following the sacking of Ronald Koeman. The appointment was initially made on Saturday after paying the release clause in his contract with Qatari side Al-Sadd, and he signed his new Barca contract that would last until 2024.The former Spanish player played for Barcelona for 17 years making 767 appearances and winning 25 trophies, including four Champions League wins and eight league titles.
“It wasn’t goodbye, it was ‘see you soon’. The Camp Nou has always been my home,” Xavi said in a video addressed to the fans. “You’re my fans, my people, the club that I love the most. And now, I’m coming home. See you soon, Culers. Forca Barca!”
On Saturday, the new coach would have discovered how hard the task ahead of him will be after Barca wasted a three-goal lead in a 3-3 draw at Celta Vigo on Sunday, the last match in charge for caretaker coach Sergi Barjuan who will now return to coaching the reserve team. Xavi who has arrived with little or no experience of coaching in a major league will face some hard challenges that led to Ronald Koeman’s downfall; Barcelona are a shadow of their former selves, mainly due to depleted finances.
Xavi’s first game will be a local derby against Espanyol on November 20 after the international break.