The great Barcelona Xavi admitted that he had declined an offer from the club to replace Ernesto Valverde as head coach before the Spanish champions appointed Quique Setien. He explained that it was “too early” for him to take up his dream job.
Valverde was sacked following the 2-3 loss to Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of this month’s first expanded Supercopa de Espana because it was believed that the coach’s letter had been hanging on the wall for some time.
Xavi was on a shortlist of candidates proposed for the Barca board before former Real Betis chief Setien was appointed to a two-and-a-half-year contract.
And the Al-Sadd trainer has now confirmed that he has received an official offer from Technical Secretary Eric Abidal and CEO Oscar Grau. However, he has to change his proposal because he believes that he needs more experience before returning to Catalonia.
“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 Thursday.
“It is too early to train Barcelona, but it will be my dream to become a Barcelona coach in the future.”
Xavi is said to have met Abidal and Grau three times in Doha last weekend, and he admits that the uncertainty has made it difficult to concentrate on his work at Al-Sadd.
However, the former Spanish star insists that he is now fully focused on Friday’s cup final against Al Duhail.
“I told my family first and then the Al Sadd players because they followed the topic,” he said when asked who was the first to learn that he had rejected Barca’s approach.
“I haven’t been in my best position in the three days, but now I’m totally focused on Al-Sad.”
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Xavi is strengthened by the support of his former club, especially due to his relatively little experience in dugout. Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu claims he has no doubt that one day the club legend will still return to coach Barca.
Speak with SportsBartomeu said: “One day Xavi will be Barca’s coach, I have no doubt. He is very capable, he is a person who understands our football perfectly, he is very interested in it and one day he will do it. “