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Xavi to become the new man in charge at Barcelona after Al Sadd agree to release

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – Manchester City v Barcelona – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Peter Byrne)

Xavi is to return to his former club and become Barcelona’s new manager.

The 41-year-old former midfielder has been in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd for two seasons and was heavily linked with a return to the Nou Camp following the sacking of Ronald Koeman on October 27.

Al Sadd’s chief executive Turki Al-Ali said: “The Al Sadd administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract.

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“We’ve agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future.

“Xavi is an important part of Al Sadd’s history and we wish him success.

“Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way.

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Final – Barcelona v Manchester United – Wembley Stadium

Xavi (centre) is one of the most decorated players in Barcelona’s history (Nick Potts/PA)

“Xavi and his family will remain welcome in Doha, and our relationship will continue.”

World Cup and double European Championship winner Xavi progressed through Barcelona’s La Masia academy and spent 17 years as a first-teamer at the Nou Camp.

He went on to captain the team and become one of the most decorated players in the club’s history before leaving in 2015 to join Al Sadd initially as a player.

Barcelona are currently ninth in LaLiga having won only four of their 11 games.

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