Xavi: "I have said no to Barcelona twice"
Xavi has admitted that while he has said no to Barcelona twice, he is preparing to take on the Camp Nou coaching job in the not-too-distant future.
Xavi Hernández has given an interview to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, in which he revealed he has come close to the Barcelona coaching job on two occasions, but on both occasions he finally decided to turn down the club’s offer.
"I have said no to Barcelona twice (...) And that is very difficult because I am a big culé,” said the Barcelona legend, who currently coaches Qatari club Al Sadd.
Xavi preparing for Barcelona job
However the 41-year-old admitted his dream remains to sit on the coach’s bench one day, but he is “not in a hurry" to take the seat of current boss Ronald Koeman, who was recently given the backing of president Joan Laporta amid question marks about the Dutchman’s future.
Koeman has one year left on his contract, with Xavi hinting that he could be ready to take on the role should Barcelona opt not to renew the Dutchman's deal.
"I feel more prepared than the first day, I am open [to the Barcelona job],” Xavi told La Vanguaria. “I am not fooling anyone; I am preparing for that. But you have to respect Koeman, a legend of the club with one more year of contract.”
"Whatever must come, will come,” he added.
Xavi defends Busquets
The 2010 World Cup winner also defended his former team mate Sergio Busquets, who has come under fire amid these troubled times for Barcelona both on and off the pitch.
"The Barça environment can be crushing. Busquets has suffered that and we have all suffered with him. But for the group, Busquets [importance] is unquestionable,” said the Al Sadd boss, who also acknowledged that both Barcelona and Real Madrid "dropped off" this season, which allowed Atlético Madrid to claim the league title.
La Vanguardia has promised to release the second installment of the interview, in which Xavi discusses the upcoming Euros as Spain prepare to face Poland, Slovakia and Sweden in Group E.