News ID: 270811
Published: 0238 GMT June 29, 2020

Xavi says hopes to coach Barcelona in the future

Xavi says hopes to coach Barcelona in the future

Former Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez said he hopes to return to the Spanish club as head coach when the timing is right and that his technical team is already preparing for it.

Spanish media had reported that Xavi, who coaches Qatari club Al Sadd, had been approached by Barca to replace Ernesto Valverde before Quique Setien was appointed in January, Reuters reported.

Barca is two points behind leader Real Madrid with six matches remaining in the campaign.

“The biggest hope I have now is to be Barca coach and get Barca back to winning ways,” Spanish daily Sport quoted Xavi as saying in a video call where the 40-year-old outlined his plans for the future.

Xavi said he hoped to begin from scratch if he took over.

“I’m a club man. I would like to return at the right moment to start a project from zero. I’ve said it a lot of times but I want to take footballing decisions at Barcelona,” he added.

“It’s clear that after the elections the stage would be set, of course. I’m not ruling anything out.

“They came for me in January, we were speaking. I told them the circumstances and timing weren’t right.”


‘Random incidents’


Meanwhile, Barcelona coach Setien said he does not always see eye-to-eye with his squad as their La Liga title bid threatens to unravel following Saturday's 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo.

Barca faces a grueling match at home to third-placed Atletico Madrid today which it needs to win to stay in close contention in the title race.

"It's true that you often have arguments with players as you do in everyday life and that's nothing new," Setien told a virtual news conference on Monday.

"I was not an easy player to deal with and I understand this perfectly well. What we have to do is try to convince everyone that we have to defend a common idea," added the former Atletico Madrid, Logrones and Racing Santander midfielder.

Footage of the Celta match showed Lionel Messi ignoring instructions from assistant Eder Sarabia during the water break.

Striker Luis Suarez, meanwhile, appeared to criticize Setien in a post-match interview, saying it was the coaching staff's job to analyze why the team keeps dropping points away from home.

Setien, however, tried to play down suggestions there was a rift between him and his players.

"These are random incidents and I don't give them too much importance. When you don't win games everyone tries to stir the pot but this is the circus we're in," he said.

"We're more concerned about the general atmosphere of the team and overall the relationship with the squad is good. It's true that we don't agree about certain things but I don't think there's any problem worth mentioning."

The 61-year-old Setien, whose biggest job before Barca was with Real Betis, also said he was not used to dealing with a dressing room of Barca's caliber and personalities but added that it was vital everyone worked in the team's best interests.

"I have no problem in admitting that this level is new to me, and that I'm in a learning process," he added.

"We all have to step back a bit for the good of the team, including the players. You can't do everything you want.

"This is a team and has to act like one. Sometimes you have to sacrifice personal things for the good of the team, that's what's going to give us victory."






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