Xavi is ‘fully focused’ on Al Sadd despite Barcelona links, club claim

Al Sadd have released a statement responding to reports linking their manager Xavi with the vacant manager’s job at Barcelona.

Xavi was considered one of the best midfielders of his generation and he was a key player in Barcelona’s first team for 17 seasons.

The Spaniard left Barcelona in 2015 to join Qatar-based side Al Sadd. After playing 117 times over four years, he retired from professional football in 2019.

The 41-year-old has been their manager since then. He has 63 wins from his 95 games in charge for Al Sadd.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are on the lookout for a new manager as Ronald Koeman was sacked this week.

The Dutchman has been under a lot of pressure for several weeks. He leaves with Barcelona ninth in La Liga.

Lionel Messi has called for his former club to appoint Xavi and talks are ongoing between both parties.

However, via Twitter, Al Sadd have attempted to quash these reports by suggesting that Xavi is “fully focused” on their games:

“In response to what’s circulating recently, the #AlSadd management reaffirms that Xavi has a two-year contract with the club and is fully focused on the team’s upcoming matches, to maintain our lead at the top of the league and to defend the title.”

Elsewhere, Man City boss Pep Guardiola has “no doubts” that Xavi is ready to become Barcelona boss: 

“First of all I don’t know what will happen. They have an interim manager and I wish him luck, he’s a close friend. Xavi, if it happens, I don’t have any doubts he’s ready to do the job. Xavi knows the environment which is so important. He knows the game, he has passion. He has more experience now that I had when I took over.

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“Koeman knows and Sergi knows and Xavi and I know, the success depends on the recruitment and the players. People forget we are the responsible but our influence is more minimal than people believe. The success I had was because of the quality of the players. Xavi of course is really good, I wish if Xavi is the next manager him all the best and hopefully step by step the team can come back.

He added: “Ronald and myself know exactly that we depend and live and expect and we are there for the results. Nobody can survive without results, no Koeman, no Pep. He’s a friend of mine, I wish him the best and will see him soon and I’m sure he did good things for the young players in the academy. Everybody knows it, doesn’t matter what you do it depends on the job.”

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