There is good news for Al Sadd fans. Football legend Xavi Hernandez is not going any where and will remain at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
After his successful stint as a player with ‘The Wolves’, the former Spain and Barcelona captain will take over as head coach of Al Sadd from the next season – his first job as a tactician.
“Al Sadd SC is pleased to announce that their former captain Xavi Hernandez will take over as the head coach of the first team, from the beginning of the 2019-20 season,” Al Sadd, Qatar’s football giants announced yesterday.
The Spaniard will replace Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira, who guided the team to QNB Stars League (QSL) title-triumph in the last season. Xavi, a World Cup winner in 2010, won eight La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies at Barcelona.
In a statement following his announcement as a head coach, the legend said: “My philosophy as a coach reflects the style we developed for many years under the influence of Johan Cruyff and La Masia, and that has its greatest exponent in the way of playing football in Barcelona.”
“What I have achieved in the last two decades has been a privilege.Therefore, I believe it is my duty to take the initiative off the field and return through football whenever possible,” Xavi said.
Veteran coach Ferreira has backed Xavi as a coach, saying like his playing career, he has a bright future in a coaching career.
“I can tell you one thing, that Xavi will turn into an excellent coach just he was excellent on the pitch. He will be a world class coach,” Ferreira said recently.
The first assignment for the World Cup winning legend will be to supervise Al Sadd’s preseason training camp in Girona, 100 kms away from the city of Barcelona, from July 14-29.
In his 4th and final year in Al Sadd jersey, Xavi played a crucial role in Al Sadd’s successful season leading them to Amir Cup final and the pre-quarter-finals of AFC Champions League, besides the QSL title. Under Xavi, Al Sadd earned plenty of impressive results as they set many records in the last season.
They registered the biggest margin of victory when they beat Al Arabi 10-1 in Week 2 of the QSL.
Al Sadd also had the most number of wins (18) and scored the most number of goals (100). They had the least number of defeats (just the loss to Al Ahli in the first leg) and conceded the least number of goals (22), after runners-up Al Duhail (17).
In the process, they became the first team in the history of Qatar league to complete a century of goals scored from 22 matches, with an average of 4.5 goals per game.
Among others who excelled, Xavi continued his good form and sprayed crucial passes time and again.
Xavi’s first challenge with Al Sadd next season will be to coach them against Al Duhail when the two Qatari sides will square off in the pre-quarter-finals of AFC Champions League in August. Courtesy:The Penibsula