FC Barcelona legend Xavi has opened up on his reasons for turning down an emotional return to Camp Nou on two occasions.
Xavi Hernandez has confirmed he rejected two offers from Barcelona to take over as manager.
The 41-year-old, who has coached Qatari club Al Sadd since ending an illustrious playing career in 2019, didn’t reveal when Barcelona offered him the manager’s job, but he insisted the time wasn’t right on each occasion.
“Fortunately or unfortunately I have said no to Barcelona twice, due to different circumstances, family, professional, contractual…,” Xavi told La Vanguardia.
“And of course it was very difficult because I am a Barcelona fan, but it was not the [right] time.”
Big Interview with Xavi today in La Vanguardia:
"FC Barcelona? I'm in no hurry." pic.twitter.com/r8uVV9ToDy
— total Barça (@totalBarca) June 5, 2021
He added: “Whatever comes will come, it will be evaluated and we will decide.
“[Offers] arrived years ago, but it was not the time. Barcelona came, and it was not the time. There is no hurry.
“Xabi Alonso said the other day that he wants to coach in his own way and I can relate to that.”
With Xavi under contract with Al Sadd until 2023, Ronald Koeman will continue as Barcelona manager for next season.
The club’s president, Joan Laporta, has decided to honor the remaining year left on the Dutchman’s contract after some initial debate. Whether Koeman gets another deal in the future, though, is doubtful.
But whether or not that is the case, Xavi insists he is ‘not in a hurry’ to take over at Camp Nou.