Al Sadd confirm deal for Xavi to take Barcelona job

Xavi is set to be confirmed as Barcelona’s new head coach after leaving his role with Al Sadd. 

The 41-year-old will take over at Camp Nou having spent the past two and a half years in charge of Al Sadd.

Xavi still had two more years to run on his deal, but Barcelona have paid his release clause and reached an agreement with the Qatari side for the club legend to replace Ronald Koeman.

A statement from Al Sadd CEO Turk Al-Ali read: “The Al Sadd administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract.

“We’ve agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future. Xavi is an important part of Al-Sadd’s history and we wish him success.

“Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way.”

Xavi made 767 appearances for Barcelona

Xavi racked up 767 appearances for Barca during his playing career – a tally only surpassed by Lionel Messi (778) – and won a glut of individual and team honours.

He won LaLiga eight times and the Champions League on four occasions before ending his 24-year association with the Catalan giants in 2015.

After seeing out the final four seasons of his playing career with Al Sadd and adding four more trophies to his collection, Xavi made the transition into coaching in May 2019.

The World Cup winner has enjoyed success in the dugout, too, having guided his side to the top-flight title last season, on top of winning the Qatar Cup and Qatari Super Cup.

Former Spain international Xavi departs with Al Sadd three points clear at the top of the league following Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with second-place Al-Duhail.

That proved to be Xavi’s final game at the helm, and he now faces a huge job at Barcelona, who are down in ninth place in LaLiga with 11 games of their season played.

Barca lost to Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano in Koeman’s last two games and have since drawn with Deportivo Alaves in the league and beaten Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League under interim boss Sergi Barjuan.