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

  • Hun Sen asks Cambodians to believe in government

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked citizens and investors to trust that the government will overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the loss of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Speaking to reporters at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh,

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • ‘Ghost staff’ found, $1.7M returned to state coffers

    The Ministry of Civil Service said more than seven billion riel ($1.7 million) in salaries for civil servants was returned to the state last year after it discovered that the books had been cooked to pay ‘ghost officials’. This is despite claims by the Ministry of

  • Woman wanted for killing own son

    Police in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district are on the lookout for a woman who allegedly hacked her son to death on Sunday in Stung Meanchey III commune. District police chief Meng Vimeandara identified the son as Chan Sokhom, 32. “The offender can’t escape forever.

  • H5N1 also poses deadly threat, ministry warns

    The Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control (CDC) department has called on citizens to excise caution over H5N1 or bird flu that is spreading in the southern province of Vietnam. In a Facebook post, the department announced that it has made a series

  • Malaysia in turmoil

    Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has done it again. At the centre of two days of high drama and political manoeuvring, he has, wittingly or not, contributed to shaking Malaysia, and further causing its equities market to fall nearly three per cent. The drama