Xavi Hernandez has confirmed he turned down an offer to coach Barcelona as it is “too soon” in his managerial career.
The Barcelona legend was considered for the position after the club sacked Ernesto Valverde on Monday.
Barcelona appointed Quique Setien as Valverde’s replacement after Xavi, who is coach of Qatari team Al-Sadd, declined the offer to return to the club where he won the Champions League four times and La Liga on eight occasions.
Speaking ahead of his team’s game against Al Duhail in Friday’s Qatar Cup final, Xavi said: “Yes, I received an offer from Barcelona in the presence of [Barca sporting director] Eric Abidal and [Barca chief executive] Oscar Grau here in Doha but I did not accept it, especially because it’s too soon for me to coach Barcelona. But it will continue to be a dream of mine in the future to manage Barca.”
A World Cup winner with Spain in 2010, Xavi came through Barca’s academy and made 855 senior appearances for the club.
He joined Al-Sadd as a player in 2015 before being unveiled as coach last July. The 39-year-old is tied to Al-Sadd until June.
“First I told my family and then [the] players because they had been monitoring the situation,” Xavi said of his decision to turn down Barca. “For the past three days I wasn’t in the best position but now I’m fully focused on Al-Sadd.”
Xavi said Barca have made the right choice in appointing Setien.
Setien, 61, has been out of work since leaving Real Betis last summer and has signed a contract until 2022.
“I love Barca’s new coach,” Xavi said. “I love the way he works and I hope he has success with the team.”