Not the right time to return as Barca coach, says Xavi


FILE PHOTO: Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez waves to supporters after their Spanish first division soccer match against Deportivo de la Coruna at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, May 23, 2015. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Former Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez has ruled out coaching the club in the near term, citing institutional problems as a reason to bide his time and remain in his role with Qatar's Al Sadd.

Xavi rejected the offer to coach his former club back in January when they sacked Ernesto Valverde, and even though current manager Quique Setien's role is far from secure the Catalan is still unwilling to return for the time being.

The former Spain player alluded to some of the problems president Josep Maria Bartomeu has faced, including a scandal involving the hiring of a social media monitoring firm and fallout from a pay-cut the club introduced in April.

"There's a lot of external noise around the club, a lot of issues off the pitch and I don't think now is the right time," Xavi told the magazine Icon.

"In January I told them it wasn't the right time and they haven't contacted me since.

"I'm delighted to continue to gain experience and challenge myself and of course it'll be a privilege for me to one day coach Barca."

Xavi also urged Barca to hand a new contract to Lionel Messi, whose current deal expires next year, amid reports the Argentine is disillusioned with Bartomeu's leadership.

"He has earned it, he should have an automatic clause," Xavi said of the club's all-time top scorer.

"Messi needs Barca and Barca need Messi.

"They have to make him happy, because a happy Messi will win more trophies. He has done what Pele, Cruyff, Maradona and Ronaldo all did but over a period of 15 years and in the modern era.

"He is at an incredible level physically, tactically and technically and continues to be the best player in every game."

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In Football

Soccer-Liverpool's Van Dijk says he will skip Euros to focus on knee rehab
Soccer-Former Ireland striker Cox to leave A-League to reunite with family
Soccer-Governing bodies welcome online bullying bill
Soccer-Keogh wins compensation claim against Derby after 'wrongful dismissal'
Soccer-Arteta says some players did not give their all this season
Soccer-Chelsea's Tuchel keen to avoid transfer talk before season ends
Soccer-Koeman expects questions on Barca future after collapse at Levante
Soccer-Barca squander lead twice to draw at Levante as title bid fades
Soccer-Ings strikes twice as Southampton beat Palace
Factbox-Soccer-Man City's record-breaking 2020-21 campaign

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers