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OFFICIAL: Al Sadd confirm Xavi’s move to Barcelona

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Barcelona have completed the appointment of Xavi Hernandez.

The Blaugrana have been working away at appointing their former midfielder as the club’s next head coach for days following Ronald Koeman’s sacking last week.

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Al Sadd have confirmed that Xavi is departing the Qatari club to join Barcelona in a message on social media.
“The Al Sadd administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract,”

The Qatari outfit say they have agreed to the move, meaning Barcelona are now free to appoint him as their new head coach.

It’s believed he will join Alemany and Yuste on a flight back to Catalonia on Saturday ahead of Barca’s clash with Celta Vigo. Though, interim boss Sergi Barjuan will remain in charge for that game.

Xavi’s first game in charge will be a derby clash with Espanyol on November 20, after the international break.

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Al Sadd chief Turki Al-Ali said in a statement: “Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way.

The Catalan media have also suggested that Xavi has already decided his coaching staff that will assist him at Barcelona. Oscar Hernández and Sergio Alegre will be the two working closest with the former midfielder, Ivan Torres will be the fitness coach, Carlos Nogueira the physio and David Prats, Toni Lobo and Sergio Garcia will be the scouts.

Xavi will now officially return to Barcelona as their new permanent head coach following the sacking of Ronald Koeman whose 14-month reign came to an end following Barca’s 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano on October 27, with the Dutch boss failing to convince.

Xavi’s Profile and credentials

Xavi is one of the most decorated players in Barca’s history, having won 25 trophies at Camp Nou between 1997 and 2015 including eight Liga titles and the Champions League.

The Spaniard made 767 appearances for the club, a record bettered only by Lionel Messi, and also contributed 85 goals and 185 assists.

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Xavi left Barca for Al Sadd in 2015 and retired four years later before becoming the Qatari club’s permanent manager, and delivered the league title in his second season at the helm.

Al Sadd won five more trophies under the 41-year-old, who has now decided the time is right to head back to Camp Nou having rejected previous offers from Barca due to a lack of coaching experience. He had made it clear to reporters he wanted to head home when fresh rumours surfaced.

He said: “I really want to go home. I hope it happens. I have a contract and now the clubs have to negotiate. They already know my position.”

Xavi has got his wish, after Barca officials flew to Qatar to thrash out a deal with Al Sadd and their top coaching target before an agreement was finalised.

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