Xavi presentation: "We are Barça and we have to try to win every single game"
And that ends Xavi's presentation, which finished with Xavi posing with the Barcelona shirt with Joan Laporta once again. Thanks for joining us!
You've been talking more about work than style. Is that what you're going to offer your team and is that what is needed right now?
Yes, this is the point. It's very important from the first moment that we put rules on the team. This is the main point. Then we can talk about values, respect, attitude, effort. This is very important because if we don't have these values, we don't have a team. And then we can talk about the game model, the way to play, how we are going to attack, how we are going to defend. But for me the first thing is to put these rules and we can decide how we play.
Perhaps someone who could join your team is Carles Puyol, or Andres Iniesta, who represent Barcelonismo very well, just like Gerard Piqué, or perhaps Dani Alves, Mascherano, these type of individuals could help you in this current situation?
(Joan Laporta answers): "Well they are already helping, given the good relationship that we have with them. Each of them have their own obligations and roles such is the case with Puyol. Communication with him is either through me or through members of the board, with Andres as well. Andres has given me his support in these difficult times, through WhatsApp. He's very excited about Xavi's arrival. Mascherano, as well, even though I didn't have him as a player there is a great relationship through messages. Piqué is obviously a player of ours and he is 100% involved in the project and Dani Alvés is very active and trying to help the club in different aspects and he's also offered his help from a sporting perspective. So Xavi needs to decide with his staff the proper course of action to follow. First immediate, and also, long-term. He knows there is a large umbrella of players that can help him at any given moment to make sure that him and his team will compete once again."
You talked about how your principal players are the captains you want to talk to. Have you managed to advance some of those conversations already with the team captains?
"I have a great relationship with all the captains. I've talked with them and they are the ones that have to help with the youngsters and they are the ones that have to lead the team in important moments when things are in a bad situation. They are the ones with the experience to help and lead this team because it's not easy sometimes for the youngsters. We have really young players, some 18 years old. Of course, we are going to give them power in this dressing room because they are the ones that have to take this responsibility and we have to be like a family. If you're happy, you can play much, much better."
What are you most worried about when it comes to this team. Defensively, many Barcelona fans were worried about how this team was evolving but how about you?
"In the end, it's a little bit of Johann Cryuff's idea. First, the defender is a striker, and our striker is a goalkeeper. We have to be a team, it's not about a line or a player. It's about everyone in this squad we are going to work really hard and everyone has to feel part of this team. At the front, but also at the back we have to work tactically. We have to understand what we have to do on the field, that is our idea."
There are cases of legendary players coming back to the club and having success like Guardiola. But there also examples of legends who came back to their clubs who had a very difficult time, Pirlo, Solskjaer, for example. Can you tell us about some of the disadvantages as well of coming back to your boyhood club?
"There are many, many advantages. I know the club really well. I know the atmosphere. Of course, we will receive critics when we don't play good football or we get bad results ... We need to play great football and we will have to try to be the best club in the world again. Hopefully, I want to be in the group with Pep Guardiola, Zidane and company, more than the other ones."
Could you talk about the mechanisms of your work. Do you know what you are going to do these first two or three days, especially given there are now so many players away on international duty?
"Yes but we will start working in our way and then we will explain it to the ones that are with their national teams. We have a clear plan and we are going to follow it point by point in order to have our players at the best level. Everything is planned until the Espanyol game and then we will see what players will be available. Of course, we still have many injured players, and many players with their national teams but we will explain our ideas and they will start undertdanding."
What plans do you have for ex-teammates of yours, Gerad Piqué, Sergio Busquests, Jordi Alba. What plan do you have for the more veteran players?
"The same one like for all the players. One of advantages is that I know them well. In the papers many times, I have read that I don't want to train some of the players that I know and that's wrong. Of course, I'm going to demand a lot from them, because I know them really well and as team captains we have try to manage his new dressing room and they are really important players. They have experienced situations. I know their skills. I know their negative points ... I am a positive person, I know Gerard, Busquets, Jordi Alba, Ter Stegan really well and they are the captains so they will have to lead the team."
Is it fundamental for you to renew with Ousmane Dembélé?
Yes, yes. Dembélé, in his position, can be the best player in the world. But yeah he has to work a lot, we have to demand a lot from him. He has to be happy but he has great footballing conditions to make a difference at Barca. He has to be a world-class player. It's important to have a winning mentality and also to have consistency. We have to help him. But, yes, he is one of our priorities."
Our AS colleague Javier Miguel with a question...
At your presentation on the field at Camp Nou, you said Barca will not draw or lose, only win. In Al Saad, you hadn't lost in a long, long time. I don't know if you remember but the last time you lost, you were sent off that day. How will you implement this winning mentality, and how will you train them here in Barca, where there is a completely contradictory atmosphere to what you experienced at Al Saad?
"I summarized it, I think, before. We have to train a lot. We have to be demanding of ourselves. We have to transmit our ideas to the players and know that we are Barca. And I'm going to repeat it again, we cannot draw or lose game, they told me that here in Barca half of my life. We cannot lose a single game, a draw or defeat has to have consequences. We have to know where we are, we have to work a lot, we also have to be positive of course. We have a good squad, we are excited and we have to work, go game by game. Now we will have to face Espanyol and we will have to compete against all our opponents."
You like to play wingers. Do you have any wingers in mind that you would like to come to the team?
"Well, I just landed a couple of days ago, we have to talk to the president about many things. And one of those things of course is the winter transfer market. We have some top-level wingers that are good on the one-to-one. We also have some injured players. Let's see how Ansu evolves but we will recover people in one or two weeks and we'll be a competitive team. But yes, I want to play with open wingers, playing wide and that can play in one-to-one situations."
Would you have liked to have coached Messi here at Barca?
Him, Eto`o, Ronaldhinho, of course, but they are not here. I am a great friend of Messi. He text me and wished me the best of luck. I also want the best for him. He is the best player in the history of football, but he's not here. We have our players who have to make a difference on the field and we cannot think about the players who are not here."
How do you want your Barcelona to play tactically speaking?
"We understand the game as a positional game, we can't change our system. We want to press high, we want to recover the ball in our opponent's half, we want to be an intense team, we want to create chances. I am not discovering anything, that's Barca's DNA. An intense team, trying to give our all on the field and we are Barca and we have to try to win every single game."
You said that it's fundamental to have great players in your team. You're new here, we've heard coaches say: 'it is what it is'. But what is your perception of the dressing room and what you will find as of now?
"My idea is to help them, there is a lot of pressure at Barca. There are some players pointing out this pressure. I experienced it as a player and sometimes it's difficult to manage it. Psychologically, we are going to work with them, individually, as a group, we are going to help them, that's my main objective, personally and professionally."
You said on Barca TV that you are going to put order in the dressing room. Does that mean you will be strict with some of the players who are your friends?
"Well it's just to follow some rules like in any company, like in any club. When there have been rules in our dressing room, things have gone well, and when not, they have gone badly. That's really clear, so yeah, we'll implement rules and they will have to follow them."
There has been an excessive amount of injuries. What idea do you have to work with the medical services at the club and how can they improve their work?
"Well, of course, we are worried like everyone at the club. We have to see what is the problem to try to prevent these kinds of injuries, to try to have all of our players available during the season, and that's part of the work for our medical services, for our staff. We have to talk about many things with the president, but I feel the confidence and I am sure we are going to work well. We have to resolve this problem and we have to work a lot, because we have many injured players."
You've been compared with Pep Guardiola who came in 2008 in the same position you are in now. Does that add pressure on you and how can you manage the expectations?
"If they compare me with Guardiola it's something really positive because he has been a reference for me as a player and as a manager. I think he is the best manager in the world. And if you compare me with him... Of course, I understand the pressure, I understand I am in the best club in the world. We have to demand from our players and results will say if we are doing it right or not but I'm happy if you compare me with Pep Guardiola. Many expectations, that's great, we have to work hard to win many trophies.
What worries you most, going back to the ideas or the day-to-day of this team?
"I have really clear ideas. In Al Saad, in Qatar, it has worked a lot, with our rules, being a team, enjoy, train a lot ... we have to be really excited and our idea, of course, some of our players already know it, and this is the best way to get good results. And results are going to mark our era, we are not in our best moment but we want to play good football and get good results. That's our idea."
What went through your head when you walked out of that tunnel?
"Many, many memories of my time as a player, and how the fans have received me. We have to win for them. They are excited and I am really emotional and that's what we need to show them."
Reporters will now have the chance to ask questions.
"The return of Xavi as the manager marks the history of this club. We've never seen this before: the presentation of a coach with all the fans reacting the way they did with all this hope and all this joy, excitmenent, confidence..."
Joan Laporta will now speak...
"I was really emotional today to see our fans there and we have to give them back all their excitement, with attitude, with good football, and I think that we need to work seriously and with our values."
"I want to say to the players: 'We are Barca, we are the best club in the world´. We are going to work for this. And all our staff, we are all Barca fans and we are really excited."
"Tomorrow morning we will start and I am really, really excited. I am back at home, we are in a tough situation in the club, financially, also we are not in out best sporting moment. But we have the ambition, we have to go together with all our fans, and we have to grow."
Xavi now begins to speak: "Well first of all I'm very emotional about how the fans have received me. I am really thankful to the club for the effort ... I am really excited. I want to start working tomorrow morning."
Reporters first being treated to a highlight reel of Xavi's playing career.
The press conference has begun...
Xavi leaves the field and will soon address reporters in the press room
Xavi now signing some autographs before he heads to the press room. Stay with us for that!
Xavi walks around the pitch to applauds the fans.
"I also want to say a few words to our supporters, they are supporting the team a lot in all games, and also today, we need you, in bad moments. Of course, we are in a difficult situation as a club, financially, and also footballistically."
Xavi is going to say a few more words.
Once they're done here on the pitch, Laporta and Xavi will head to the press room to field questions from reporters.
"Welcome Xavi, and the entire family, welcome back home. It's very emotional day today"
Joan Laporta will now say some words.
Xavi, stands with Laporta and his wife, whose birthday it is today, posing for photos with the Blaugrana jersey. Then the whole family comes to join.
Barcelona signs the contract in front of the fans and he is now officially the new Barcelona coach. His contract runs until June 2024.
"Barca cannot draw or lose, we have to win every single game"
"I can say one thing, we are the best club in the world, and we are gonna work to try and win many titles."
"I don't want to cry, but thank you very much to all the fans, to all the club, it's just amazing"
Xavi takes the mic to say a few words to the crowd..
Xavi, dressed in a tie-less black suit and white shirt, waves and blows kisses to the crowd.
Xavi Hernandez and president Joan Laporta have walked out of the tunnel and onto the Camp Nou field, to the sound of rapturous cheers from the crowd waving flags frantically.
During his playing career, Xavi chose to leave both Barcelona and the national team while he was still at the top of his game, before becoming a burden.
Xavi being fashionably late, he was supposed to walk out on the field at 1pm local time, it's now 1.17. The fans basking in the glorious Barcelona sunshine don't see to mind.
Xavi's trophy record currently being rolled out by the stadium announcer, which includes: eight LaLiga titles (1998/99, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13 and 2014/15), three Copas del Rey (2008/09, 2011/12 and 2014/15), four Champions Leagues (2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2014/15) six Spanish Super Cups (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013), two UEFA Super Cups (2009 and 2011) and two FIFA Club World Cups (2009 and 2011).
Fans still waiting anxiously for Xavi to walk out onto the Camp Nou field. It should be happening any minute now.
"Xavi fits perfectly, that's for sure. Not only because of what he represents as Xavi, but as a coach and how he's prepared to face this challenge."
"Xavi, Xavi, Xavi" ringing around Camp Nou!
The stream is live! Press play above.
Some 12,000 people currently waiting for the stream above to go live, which it should do any moment now...
The new Barcelona coach will not have been too impressed with the team's performance in the second half against Celta Vigo on Saturday, which saw them throw away a three goal lead after the break to draw 3-3...
You know, I’m going to demand a lot from my players and I will also help them. It is an advantage to already know the likes of Ter Stegen, Piqué, Alba, Busi, Roberto. I know where I should press them and the weak points they may have”
Fans taking their seats at Camp Nou
The fans are making their way to their seats ahead of Xavi's Barcelona presentation in 20 minutes. The event gets underway at 1pm local time (7am ET)...
In this file photo taken on February 29, 2004 FC Barcelona's forward Argentinian Javier Saviola (R) celebrates with teammate Xavi Hernandez (L) after scoring a 2nd goal against Deportivo Coruna during the Spanish first league football match at Riazor stadium in Coruna. - Barcelona are set to announce Xavi Hernandez's dramatic return to the club as coach, after Al Sadd confirmed on November 5, 2021 a deal has been agreed between the clubs. Xavi Hernandez left with Barcelona the envy of the world and returns to save them from mediocrity, the club's legendary midfielder brought back as coach with the mammoth task of restoring his team to its former glory. (Photo by Miguel RIOPA / AFP)
Valverde's redundancy package cost 11 million euros - even though El Txingurri waived the final year. Setién is still owed 4 million and Koeman, 13M.
Xavi, if it happens, I don't have any doubts that he's ready to do the job. He knows the environment which is so important. He knows the game, he has passion. He has more experience now that I had when I took over."
Barcelona's second-highest appearance maker
Before joining Al Sadd in 2015, initially as a player, Xavi amassed a then-club-record 767 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona. The mark has since been surpassed by Messi, who played 778 times for Barça before his summer departure. Xavi also made 61 appearances for Barça B, the club’s second team, between the 1997/98 and
The midfielder scored 85 times for Barça’s first team, and supplied 185 assists. His slick, quick, unerring passing ability memorably persuaded the great Spanish TV commentator Andrés Montés to nickname him ‘Humphrey Bogart’ - a reference to the film star’s famous line “play it again, Sam” in the 1942 classic Casablanca.
Trophy-laden career as a Barcelona player
After making his Barcelona debut in 1998, Blaugrana youth product Xavi won no fewer than 25 trophies in a 17-year spell in the club’s first team. It’s a haul that places him fifth on the list of Barça’s most decorated players, behind Lionel Messi (who claimed a record 35 winners’ medals with the Catalans), Andrés Iniesta (32), Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets (both 30).
Xavi’s silverware collection as a Barça player breaks down as: eight LaLiga titles (1998/99, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13 and 2014/15), three Copas del Rey (2008/09, 2011/12 and 2014/15), four Champions Leagues (2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2014/15) six Spanish Super Cups (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013), two UEFA Super Cups (2009 and 2011) and two FIFA Club World Cups (2009 and 2011).
Xavi's Barcelona tenure has not yet officially started, but the Blaugrana's new coach will have to cope with a lengthy injury list when he takes over. Against Celta on Saturday, Ansu Fati - who picked up an apparent hamstring injury - Eric García and Nico all failed to make it past half time, taking Barça's first-team injury tally into double figures.
With Xavi being presented today, Barcelona will turn their attention to sorting out contract extensions fo Pablo Gavi and Ousmane Dembélé. The club is also targeting a new striker for January, as reported by man in the know, Fabrizio Romano...
One of the things that Xavi has absolutely clear in his mind is that the days when the coach performed all of the tasks on his own are long over. Xavi knows he needs to be almost like a general director, guiding a modern team of staff who each know their role and have the experience to carry it out. Barça haven't just signed a new coach, they have signed a team of coaching experts who Xavi has total faith in and who have accompanied him since his career in management began.
Xavi is in the building
Xavi has arrived at Camp Nou for the presentation, which gets underway at 1pm local time...
Watch: Check out what Xavi had to say on Saturday ahead of his presentation today at Camp Nou...
Andres Iniesta has given his backing to former Barcelona team-mate Xavi after he was officially unveiled as the new head coach at Camp Nou.
Iniesta and Xavi made a combined 1,441 appearances for the Catalan club, winning seven LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues together before the latter moved to Qatari club Al Sadd in 2015.
Speaking to BeIN Sports, Iniesta said: "Xavi fits perfectly, that's for sure. Not only because of what he represents as Xavi, but as a coach and how he's prepared to face this challenge."
"I wish him all the luck in the world and I am convinced that he will be fine because he has prepared for that moment and is very excited to be able to take on this challenge.
"I hope that the circumstances will be in place to succeed. I wish him well. For him as a team-mate, as for Barca, for the club, of course."
There was only going to be one protagonist of the Barcelona's twitter feed today of course. What a cracker this was....
Xavi to oversee first Barça training session on Tuesday
Xavi will take his first training session as the new head coach of FC Barcelona on Tuesday, the club has confirmed. Xavi arrives with the Blaugrana sat in mid-table in LaLiga and stated on Saturday that "the training sessions will be demanding and we will compete hard".
Following the international break, the legendary Spain midfielder's first game in charge will be the Catalan derby against Espanyol on Saturday 20th November.
Hello and welcome...
Good morning and welcome as we begin our live coverage of Xavi Hernandez's official presentation at Camp Nou, which begins at 1pm local time (7am CET).