Xavi Hernandez made over 500 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 58 goals, as well as picking up no less than 25 trophies with the Catalan club.
However, after a glistening career with the club, the midfield maestro opted to finish his playing days in Qatar – not the choice of many top-class professionals.
This unique opportunity presented Xavi with the chance to not only continue playing football for a couple more seasons, but Al Sadd, the club he signed for, offered him the chance to pick up his coaching badges in the process. Al Sadd were also able to offer him a rather generous salary, and the offer was far too good to turn down.
As well as picking up a staggering 23 trophies for Barcelona, Xavi won three international honours in a row. He won the Euros in 2008, the World Cup in 2010, and the Euros once again in 2012, an era in which the Spanish were dominating world football.
The trophies haven’t stopped pouring in over in Qatar for the retired international. Xavi captained Al Sadd to win all three domestic cup competitions in 2017, before picking up the league title in 2019.
Since winning that particular title, Xavi has gone on to manage Al Sadd, where he has continued to do what he is best at in the beautiful game: win trophies. He won the Qatar Super Cup in 2019, before winning the Qatar Cup in 2020, as well as guiding Al Sadd to a semi-final finish in the AFC Champions League; a tremendous feat for such a small club in amongst giants.
There have been continuous rumours that Xavi is close to taking charge of Barcelona in the not so distant future, having proven able to manage over in Qatar. Although the standard is completely different, Xavi is one of Barcelona’s most decorated players in their history, and the former captain clearly knows the club inside out. He has also indicated he would love to take charge of his former club.
The Barcelona board are clearly hoping his presence will have a promising impact on the dressing room, especially with the younger players, who more than likely idolised him whilst growing up.
However, for now, Xavi currently remains the manager of Al Sadd in Qatar. The Barcelona legend is clearly helping to grow the image of the small country in the desert, which is hosting the 2022 World Cup.
Betting for the 2022 World Cup reflects that Spain, once again, have the opportunity to add more silverware to their ever-growing cabinet, which would no doubt please Xavi for numerous reasons.
Xavi is not only a legend at Barcelona, but he is idolised around the world for his achievements in football. His move into management has come as no surprise due to his leadership on the field, as well as his tactical knowledge of the game.
It will also come as no surprise if Xavi steps out at the Nou Camp for many years to come in the near future.