Barcelona said today Saturday (November 6) have named their former midfielder and captain Xavi Hernandez as head coach on contract until 2024, following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.
The LaLiga club got the green light on Friday to sign the 41-year-old after paying a release clause in his contract with Qatari side Al-Saad.
Xavi played for Barcelona for 17 years, making 767 appearances and winning 25 trophies, including four Champions League victories and eight league titles.
The club chanted “Welcome back home, Xavi!” “FC Barcelona has entered into an agreement with Xavi Hernandez to be the first team coach for the current season and two more seasons,” said a statement titled.
Xavi Hernandez, a youth team product at Barca, has left his current Qatar club, Al-Sadd, after talks with club owners over the past few days.
Dutch coach Koeman was sacked last month after a 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano, which left Barca in ninth place in LaLiga.
The club are still ninth after Sergi Barjuan was appointed as caretaker coach and nine points behind leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand.
Barjuan is set to remain in charge for his league match at Celta Vigo on Saturday, with Xavi arriving at Barcelona this weekend ahead of his presentation on Monday.
Xavi’s first game after the international break will be the local derby against Espanyol on 20 November.
A former Spain international, Xavi joined Al-Sadd as a player in 2015, becoming head coach after hanging up his boots in 2019. In April, he led his side to the Qatari domestic league title with an unbeaten side.
He turned down an opportunity to coach Barca in January 2020 after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde, but remained attached to the job in August last year after koeman succeeded Quique Setien.