Xavi Hernández stats as coach: titles, wins, style...
The former Spain international midfielder is well known for his almost unrivalled list of achievements at Barcelona, but how has he fared as the boss?
Remembered around the globe for being an integral part in Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side that is regarded by many as one of the greatest to ever grace a football pitch, Xavi Hernández has a collection of trophies and medals greater than most.
There is no doubt that the midfield linchpin, along with his regular partner for club and country, Andrés Iniesta, starred once they crossed the white line. What is less known is how he has fared since hanging up his boots and coordinating his players from the dugout.
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The outstanding playing career of the Spaniard for Barcelona came to an end in a fitting manner, coming off the bench in a victorious Champions League final in 2015. That continental win made history as Barça became the first team to twice win the treble of domestic league and cup plus the European title, and Xavi was part of both.
From Catalonia, Xavi’s journey would take him to Qatar as he signed a three-year deal with Al Sadd, still playing the Beautiful Game but his time there would also see him begin to pick up his coaching qualifications.
In May 2019, his retirement was announced but he decided to stay where he was, but with a clear plan. "The idea is to start as a coach in Qatar, to test myself and get some experience,” Xavi said at the time.
From superstar player to promising coach
It didn’t take long for him to be appointed the manager of Al Sadd, just later the same month, and he took the side to the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League. But silverware was not far away.
In his first full season, of 2019/20, while finishing third in the domestic league he oversaw his side as they won three cups (Emir, Qatar and Sheikh Jassim) and they reached the Round of 16 in the Champions League. This season has seen them blow other teams in the league away, setting a record of unbeaten games - stretching back to the last campaign - which has them currently played 22, won 19 and drawn three.
Xavi was known for playing attractive winning football. His managerial style has followed in this style. And now the expectation is that he will be bringing that to the Camp Nou for the coming years.