Xavi reveals he rejected Barcelona return TWICE as Koeman set to stay

Martin Macdonald
Xavi at Al Sadd

Xavi at Al Sadd

Xavi has revealed he has twice turned down Barcelona when offered the opportunity to return to the club as head coach.

In the 2019/20 season under Quique Setien, Barca won nothing for the first time in 12 years, which led to Ronald Koeman being brought in to steady the ship in the summer.

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Although the Blaugrana won the Copa del Rey this past campaign, they finished third in La Liga and failed to make it past the last 16 of the Champions League under the tutelage of the Dutchman.

The disappointments of 2020/21 have led to pressure being put on Koeman, made worse by events off the pitch that saw the president who hired him, Josep Maria Bartomeu, exiled from his role.

Former president Joan Laporta would subsequently return, with speculation gathering he was keen to make his own appointment.

Although Xavi does not specify as to when, he has claims that Barcelona have approached him twice to become head coach at Camp Nou.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, I said no to Barcelona twice, for different circumstances, family, professional, contractual,” he told Vanguardia.

The World Cup winner says for now he is happy in his role with Al Sadd in Qatar.

“I have renewed two years with Al Sadd, I am very comfortable and open to other club offers but in a calm manner," Xavi continued.

“My priority now is family and I don't feel the need to leave. I am good as I am. I learn, I make mistakes, I am involved in a very nice project, which does not only concern Al Sadd but also the World Cup in Qatar, which will take place in a year.

“I will have an important role.”

What about Koeman?

Earlier this week Laporta said that Koeman’s future as Barcelona boss would be decided within 10 days, and only a few days later it was confirmed that the Dutchman would remain in his role for at least another season.

Koeman took to social media to react to the news, saying:

“I am relieved to say my players and staff can fully focus on the new season now.

“The last few weeks have been intense, but I am glad that President Joan Laporta gave his support to me and calm has been restored.

“The focus of everyone in the club is the same: building a winning Barça and achieving success!