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Xavi extends Al Sadd contract to end Barca speculation, denies clause

Xavi Hernandez

Bengaluru/Doha, May 13: Xavi Hernandez has signed a new contract with Qatar Stars League (QSL) side Al Sadd to put an end to speculation linking him to La Liga giants Barcelona.

A Barca great, Xavi has long been tipped to return to Camp Nou as head coach – firstly before Ronald Koeman's appointment at the start of 2020-21 and after Joan Laporta's presidential election victory.

But Spaniard Xavi will remain in charge of the QSL outfit until 2023, it was announced on Wednesday (May 12).

Barcelona great Xavi wins first league title of coaching career with Al Sadd

The 41-year-old has guided Al Sadd to QSL (2020-21), Qatar Cup (2020 and 2021), Qatar Super Cup (2019), Emir's Cup (2020) and Qatar Stars Cup (2019) success since becoming coach in 2019.

"We achieved a lot together, scored goals, won matches and titles, and we're all very proud of this success. Getting this kind of support is the best thing any coach can get," said Xavi, who spent 17 years with Barca, where he won eight La Liga trophies and four Champions League titles among other honours.

"I have everything I could want to do well, and I feel proud to continue with Al Sadd for an additional two seasons."

Xavi – who held the record for most Barca appearances before it was broken by Lionel Messi this season – also denied he has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave Al Sadd amid Barca links.

"This is incorrect," the former Spain international added.

"I have a two-season contract with Al-Sadd, and I respect this contract - and I also respect the official negotiation methods between all parties."

(With Omnisport/Al Sadd Media inputs)

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Story first published: Thursday, May 13, 2021, 6:00 [IST]
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