After several weeks of controversy at Barcelona, Ronald Koeman was confirmed as the manager for the 2020/21 season by Joan Laporta in a press conference held at the club offices this week. He said, explaining the decision, “Koeman has already made a tremendous effort. He is the coach we want for the Barça first team.”
This, in large parts, stems from the unavailability of any other coach that suits Barcelona’s tactical system. One name that has come up constantly is that of Xavi. The Barcelona legend and current Al Said coach has been offered the job more than once but has declined.
Explaining his decision in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, the Spaniard said, “I’m not in a rush to manage Barça. It is true that I said no to the possiblity two times already, but I don’t feel ready just yet. It was not the moment, for many reasons. Right now, I am happy at Al Sadd.”
In addition, he was also given the opportunity to work with the Brazilian national team, as was confirmed by the head coach Tite.
Could it have been a good opportunity for Xavi? pic.twitter.com/VUuj7G9s62— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) June 5, 2021
Him declining the offer to coach Barça, though, comes as a surprise to all, given his history at Barcelona. Xavi, too, feels the same, and said, “Saying no is the most difficult decision I had to take, because I am a Culé at heart. But I don’t think that it was the aproppiate moment to do so.”
Qatar is set to hold the World Cup in 2022, and has a long-term project planned for their football team, starting from the roots. For Xavi, it presents an opportunity to train players that will represent the national team in the tournament — an opportunity that he has previously described as ‘special’.
He reiterated his view of the same by saying, “There are other factors which also influenced my decision to not take over at Barça. The Qatar World Cup for example, one in which I will be a big part of. If the club called me again, the process would be the same. I would take some time to consider and take a decision.”
As now, Ronald Koeman will certainly reach the end of his contract, that ends in 2022. After that, there could be a change in Barcelona’s coaching scenario, especially if Barça fail to lift any major silverware through the season.