November 9 – New Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez says he wanted the job so much he turned down joining the Brazilian national team set-up.
The former international midfielder says he was offered the chance, several months ago, to join Tite’s coaching staff.
“We talked to the Brazilian Federation,” he said at his first press conference since taking over from the sacked Ronald Koeman
“The idea was to be an assistant to [head coach] Tite and to take over the squad after the Qatar World Cup. But my desire was to come to Barcelona. I waited until the right moment and I think this is the right moment. I feel I am very well prepared now.”
The Catalans have suffered a crisis of confidence since losing Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, with a financial crisis also taking root.
But the return of Xavi, who won eight LaLiga and four Champions League titles as a player with Barca, has rekindled hope with 10,000 fans welcoming him back.
“Messi sent me a message offering me good luck,” said Xavi. “He is the best player in the history of the club but he is not here anymore. We have the players that we have and we will work with them.”
“Barcelona can’t be satisfied with draws or losses. We have to win every match. I have a big advantage because I know the club well. But Barcelona is the most difficult club in the world because winning 1-0 is not enough. We will try to win and to play well.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com