Barcelona presidential hopeful Victor Font insists Xavi Hernandez would be instilled as the club coach if he is voted in, and the former midfielder could become the Blaugrana’s version of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Xavi – currently at the helm of Qatari club Al Sadd – has been heavily linked with a return to the club in recent months and indeed the former midfielder maestro Xavi rejected Barcelona over the managerial position in January after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde.
A recent report from ESPN Deportes outlined how Font was the early favourite to win the January elections, although there could be up to 10 candidates.
Now he has claimed that former Blaugrana captain Xavi could be to the club what Ferguson was to Manchester United – the Scot managed 1,500 games for the club over a 27-year period.
“We decided some years ago the best person to help us build our organisation is Xavi,” Font told an interview with Reuters.
“Ideally we can have Xavi as a general manager for many years like Alex Ferguson was at Manchester United. But if he needs to play a different role, he can be flexible. Few people have the leadership qualities he has.”
Font then addressed what this would mean for the future of current Blaugrana boss Ronald Koeman: “That’s a decision the sporting directors will have to make, but we’re thankful to Ronald for taking on this challenge at a difficult time. We’re happy to see him making bold decisions and empowering the young players who have potential.
“Xavi has a very long term perspective. He’s only 40, he was telling me the other day his professional career as a coach has many years ahead of him. So there will be no tension or conflict.”
Font told Cadena Ser’s El Larguero show back in August: “Even if Koeman has a great season I would not change my plans. If I become president, Koeman will not be the coach in 2021/2022.
“Xavi understands that all the pieces of the club have to fit together. A Board of Directors that lets whoever leads the sports project work, which in our case would be him.”
Xavi made 767 first-team appearances for the Catalan giants between 1998 and 2015, alongside winning 133 caps for the Spanish national team.
He won eight La Liga titles alongside three Copa del Rey crowns and four Champions League trophies in his total of 25 titles with the club.