Xavi Hernandez thriving in Qatar: “He hasn’t come here for a meal ticket”

Xavi Hernandez is a man close to the thoughts of every Barcelona supporter. Ronald Koeman has done a fine job so far this season and earned himself the right to at least see out his contract, but the general consensus in Catalonia is that it’s a matter of when, rather than if, their former midfielder will take the reins.

Xavi is currently in Qatar with Al-Sadd, where he won three titles in his first season in charge and is on course to winning all six available to him in his second.

His team has just recently won the Qatari League with four games to spare, a fine feat in a season where they’ve already won the Prince Cup and the Qatar Cup. They’re also in the semi-final of the Emir Cup, and are yet to begin the Asian Champions League.

“Xavi walks around and people barely take a blind bit of notice of him,” Nicky Summerbee, formerly of Manchester City and Sunderland but now a pundit in Qatar, told The Athletic.

“You see him shopping in the supermarket. I look around and wonder if people realise what a massive star he is. For him, it must be brilliant, after the life he’s had.

“I can understand why he’s achieved so much here. Right from the first interview, he knew everyone, the names of players and their strengths. He hasn’t come here for a meal ticket.”

Xavi has long been viewed as a potential Pep Guardiola-like figure at Barcelona, someone who could come into the club and reassert the identity that the aforementioned Catalan instilled in his charges when he sat in the Camp Nou dugout.

One of the most decorated footballers of all time, a selection of Xavi’s honours include eight La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, two European Championships and the World Cup.

Tags Barcelona La Liga Xavi