Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Barcelona great Xavi named coach of Al-Sadd

Barcelona great Xavi named coach of Al-Sadd

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The first game for Al-Sadd under Xavi Hernandez will be against compatriots Al-Duhail in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League on August 6. AFP

Barcelona great Xavi named coach of Al-Sadd

Ex-Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has been appointed the head coach for Qatari champions Al-Sadd for whom the Spaniard has been playing since 2015, the club said on Tuesday.

Al-Sadd, who won Qatar’s league title this season for the first time in six years, said the team is set to hold a training camp in Girona, near Barcelona, from July 14 to 29.

“After finishing my unforgettable career as a player, I am starting this new challenge with lots of enthusiasm and conscious of the responsibility to return the trust the club has given me,” Xavi wrote on his Instagram page.

Xavi, 39, replaces Portuguese Jesualdo Ferreira whose term ended this season and previously said his successor “will be a great manager”.

The first game for Al-Sadd under Xavi will be against compatriots Al-Duhail in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League on August 6.

Al-Sadd’s last encounter against Al-Duhail saw them thrashed 4-1, after which Xavi dodged the waiting media at the newly inaugurated Al-Janoub World Cup stadium.

Xavi played his final match in an Al-Sadd jersey when the side took on Iranian giants Persepolis in their last group match of the AFC Champions League, succumbing to the hosts 2-0.

He was cheered by fans at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran where several home fans brandished banners reading “Adios Xavi” to show their appreciation of the player.

Along with Andres Iniesta, Xavi formed the backbone of one of Barcelona’s greatest ever sides and became the first player in history to play 150 UEFA Champions League matches.

“The idea is to start as a coach in Qatar, where there is less pressure, to test myself and get some experience,” Xavi told Spain’s Efe agency in Tehran just hours before facing Persepolis.

Xavi joined Al-Sadd in 2015 following an illustrious 17-year stint with Barcelona. At the end of last season, he renewed his contract for two years but at the end of this season, he announced his plans to retire from playing to begin a coaching career.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • US told to refrain from interfering in Sokha case

    Senior Cambodian officials said on Thursday that the US can monitor Kem Sokha’s trial as it wishes but would not be allowed to interfere in court procedures. The point was made in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on Wednesday

  • Europe expected to consider EBA efforts, impact

    The government said it expects the European Commission to consider its efforts to comply with the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) regulations and the impact on one million workers should access to the agreement be suspended in February. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara