Why Xavi Rejected Barca Coaching Offer

AnalysisQuique Setien's appointment brings the promise of spectacle back to Barcelona

Al Sadd manager Xavi has confirmed that he rejected the chance to return to Barcelona this month, as he felt the opportunity to manage his former club came too soon.

The Barcelona squad enjoyed a dinner on Thursday night that was organised by newly-appointed head coach Quique Setien.

Speaking ahead of his team's game against Al Duhail in Friday's Qatar Cup final, Xavi said: "Yes, I received an offer from Barcelona in the presence of [Barca sporting director] Eric Abidal and [Barca chief executive] Oscar Grau here in Doha but I did not accept it, especially because it's too soon for me to coach Barcelona".

It took place at a well-known restaurant in the upper part of Barcelona, three days after Setien was officially named as Ernesto Valverde's replacement.

During that period of uncertainty, there was talk that Barcelona had approached club legend Xavi - who is now in charge of Qatari side Al Sadd - to replace Valverde. "That doesn't mean it's not still my dream to coach Barcelona one day".

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Xavi added "It will remain my dream in the future to be a Barcelona coach". Coincidentally, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu also confirmed that Setién has a break clause in his contract that year which will become active following the club's presidential election.

Valverde is the first coach to be sacked by Barca mid-season since Louis van Gaal in 2003.

The 39-year-old won eight La Liga titles and lifted the Champions League trophy four times before moving to Al Sadd as a player in 2015.

"I told my family first and then the Al-Sadd players because they were following the topic".

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