After Al Sadd revealed on Friday that a deal had been reached between the parties, Barcelona is expected to announce Xavi Hernandez’s spectacular return to the club as a coach. Barca has paid the release clause for Xavi, who has been coaching in Qatar since 2019 and now returns to the club where he had such great success as a player, according to the Qatari club. “The Al Sadd administration has approved on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause which was worth 5 million euros stated in the contract,” Xavi’s first game set to be the Catalan derby against Espanyol at Camp Nou on Nov. 20.
Their previous manager Koeman, who was chosen by the previous president Josep Maria Bartomeu in August 2020, helped Barca win the Copa del Rey and finish third in the league last season. They were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Paris Saint-Germain. President Joan Laporta was never convinced by Koeman, who had to deal with massive financial problems and the loss of star player Lionel Messi. Laporta wanted to replace managers twice, once in the summer and again after the defeat to Benfica in September, but he was persuaded to stay with him due to a lack of alternatives. However, following a Clasico loss to Real Madrid and a loss to Rayo, the president took action.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 5, 2021
Xavi has many challenges across him like Koeman before him, will have to work with a group of promising young players, including Spain internationals Ansu Fati, Gavi, and Pedri. With Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets still playing vital roles at the club, he will also have to oversee the final years of the careers of former comrades.