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AFP
March 30, 2020

Xavi wants ‘total harmony’ to return to Barcelona as coach

Sports

AFP
March 30, 2020

MADRID: Xavi Hernandez has reiterated his desire to coach Barcelona in the future but suggests he will not return until a different board brings a new sense of direction to the club.

Hernandez is in charge of Al-Sadd in Qatar and turned down an approach in January after Barca sacked Ernesto Valverde, which led to the surprise appointment of Quique Setien. In an interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia published on Sunday, Xavi said Neymar would be a “spectacular signing”, and singled out former Spain defender Carles Puyol and the one-time Dutch winger Jordi Cruyff as people he would like to work with.

Yet the relationship between Barcelona’s board, led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the players has remained tense, with Lionel Messi’s public criticism of technical secretary Eric Abidal.

“I am clear that I want to return to Barca, I am very excited,” said Xavi, who was asked if a change of board would be needed for it to happen. “Obviously I would like to be in tune with everyone,” he said. “In the dressing room there can’t be a negative or toxic atmosphere.”

“Everything has to fit,” Xavi added. “I would like to come in with people from my environment that could form a good team.” Pushed on whether working with the current board would be a deal-breaker, Xavi said: “It wouldn’t be definitive but I insist I would like to have total harmony. I don’t know if that can happen.”