Barcelona legend and Al Sadd manager Xavi Hernandez has admitted that he’s open about the fact that he wants to return to Camp Nou in the future. An integral part of a trophy filled era for both Spain and Barcelona, the 40-year-old is considered to be amongst the best to ever grace a football field.
But while many expected Xavi to end his career at Barcelona, the Spaniard instead opted to leave for Qatar and call time on his playing career with Al Sadd. That allowed the 40-year-old to earn his coaching badges and eventually take over as manager of the Qatari side. However, that didn’t stop Barcelona from trying to make him their next manager after sacking Ernesto Valverde but the former midfielder refused and the La Liga giants signed Quique Setien instead.
Reports indicated that Xavi believed he wasn’t ready for the job and now in an interview, the Spaniard went on to admit that he has always been clear about the fact that he does want to return to the Camp Nou. The 40-year-old also added the reason why he never replaced Valverde was because of the fact that he wanted to build a team from the ground up without any "toxic" characters.
“I am clear that I want to return to Barcelona, I am very excited. Now that I have seen myself coaching I think I can bring things to the players. But I made it clear to them that I saw myself in a project that started from zero and in which the decision-making was mine. I don’t take it back. I have no problem. I don’t hide. I would like to work together with people in whom I have confidence, with whom there is loyalty and who are very valid people. There can’t be anyone toxic around the dressing room,” Xavi told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.
The La Liga giants have struggled in the past to build a team around Lionel Messi with the Argentine forced to do a lot of the work himself. It has also seen the Barcelona legend reportedly consider a move away given the circumstances but Xavi went on to outline his plan for the team and the players he would potentially sign for the club. The Spaniard also admitted that while the club does have world-class stars, they need more than that as well.
“A lot of the squad seems extra-ordinary to me. Starting with the goalkeeper, [Marc-Andre ter Stegen] who seems to me the best in the world. Jordi Alba is the best left-back in the world for me too. [Gerard] Pique, the best centre-back. [Sergio] Busquets the best defensive midfielder, and [Lionel] Messi, the best player in the world. If we add [Luis] Suarez, [Frenkie] De Jong and Arthur, there are players to triumph for 10 years at Barca.
"The base is very good. I'd sign wingers, like Neymar,' Xavi said. 'I don't know if he'd fit in in terms of social reasons, but as a player I have no doubt he would be a spectacular signing. Barcelona already have players who can play inside, but lack wingers like Bayern have. They don't need a lot of new faces. Jadon Sancho, Serge Gnabry,” he added.