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Xavi Hernández (2021-present)
The Barça legend took over as first team manager in the autumn of 2021
Xavi Hernández (25/01/1980, Terrassa), total legend at Barça, became FC Barcelona manager in the autumn of 2021 as a replacement for Ronald Koeman. He had been coaching Al-Sadd of Qatar, winning seven trophies in a year and a half, before returning to what otherwise had been his lifetime club.
As a player...
Xavi left Barça after 767 appearances, the club’s second highest figure of all time, winning 25 trophies: 8 Ligas, 4 Champions League, 3 Copas del Rey, 2 Club World Cups, 2 European Super Cups and 6 Spanish Super Cups.
But he had joined the club at U12 level, so that was 24 years in total, where had learned and perfected the unique style of play associated to it.
He was the veritable brains of the team, a central playmaker like no other, who could had an extraordinary natural understanding of the game, with pinpoint passing and the ability to outwit physically tougher opponents thanks to his remarkable technique. He was all about governing the midfield, and did so brilliantly.
He made his senior debut in 1998 under Louis van Gaal, and was a first choice starter for all 17 of his years. Under Frank Rijkaard (2003) he truly started coming to the fore and achieved absolute excellence under Pep Guardiola from 2008. After Carles Puyol retired, he was given the captain’s armband.
2014/15 was his final year at Barça. After a major send-off, he left to Qatar to see out the last four years of his playing career at Al-Saad, where he hung up his boots in 2019 and immediately took over coaching duties instead.