Xavi Hernandez demands Barcelona 'win every game' after being presented as manager

Former Barca midfielder signs contract until 2024

Xavi Hernandez has said he will settle for nothing less than success after being presented as Barcelona's new manager on Monday.

Xavi, one of Barca's greatest ever players, walked out on to the Camp Nou pitch to chants of "Xavi, Xavi" before signing his contract, which runs until June 2024, alongside his family and club president Joan Laporta.

"I don't want to get too emotional so I will just tell you one thing – we are the best club in the world," Xavi told the crowd of around 10,000 fans.

"And we will work to the highest standards to have success. We cannot accept defeats or draws, we have to win every game."

Laporta said: "Today will be an historic day for Barca."

Xavi is the first Barca manager to be presented on the pitch in front of fans at the 99,000-capacity stadium, with the routine usually only reserved for the club's biggest signings.

The return of the 41-year-old former midfielder as manager, six years after he left Barcelona to play in Qatar, has generated huge excitement and raised hopes the club can begin a return to Europe's elite.

Xavi succeeds another decorated former Barca player after Ronald Koeman was sacked last month after 14 months in charge.

Barca sit ninth in La Liga, with the club grappling with debts of more than a billion euros. They have not been European champions since 2015.

Xavi's appointment was confirmed in the early hours of Saturday and he flew out of Doha a few hours later, before watching Barcelona at a distance as they threw away a three-goal lead away at Celta Vigo to draw 3-3.

He then attended in person to watch the club's youngsters as Barca B beat Sevilla B at the Johan Cruyff Stadium on Saturday evening.

Xavi's first training session in charge will be on Tuesday, although the squad is depleted by injuries and absentees away on international duty.

Barcelona's first game with Xavi in the dugout will be at home to local rivals Espanyol on November 20.

After playing 767 games for Barcelona, Xavi left to play for Al Sadd in Qatar in 2015 before taking over as the team's manager four years later.

Over his 17-year playing career at Barca, Xavi won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues, as well as the World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.

Updated: November 8th 2021, 1:27 PM
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