Barca bring Xavi ‘home’


November 8 – 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.

Barcelona made the appointment on Saturday, giving Xavi a contract until 2024 after paying the release clause in his contract with Qatari side Al-Sadd.

Xavi 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!”

Xavi quickly discovered how tough the task ahead will be after Barca squandered 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 arrives with no experience of coaching in a major league and will face the same challenge that led to Koeman’s downfall: Barcelona are a shadow of their former selves, mainly due to depleted finances.

His first game in the managerial hotseat will be none other than the local derby against Espanyol on Nov. 20, after the international break.

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