It was a footballing match made in heaven. Xavi Hernandez in the Barcelona midfield, loading the gun for Lionel Messi to fire the bullets.
Incredibly, it’s already been six years since the former played his last game for the Catalans, but that hasn’t stopped him making a direct pitch for the manager’s job at Camp Nou, despite the fact that president, Joan Laporta, has confirmed that Ronald Koeman will fulfil his two-year contract – at the very least.
Though Messi has yet to commit to Barca, it’s believed that he will soon put pen to paper on a two-year deal, which could see the mouth-watering possibility of Xavi coaching his former team-mate in the final season of his career at Barcelona.
“I am always on the market,” Xavi was quoted as saying by AS. “The club decided to continue with Koeman and I wish him the best.
“In these last four months, I have not had any contact with [president Laporta] or anyone from the board.
“I don’t know when the moment will arrive but, for me, it would be a dream to return to Barca one day. I’m in no rush, honestly, but I hope it happens. I understand people may think I am not ready, but I want to make it clear that I am.
“I know the club, the environment… I am coaching at a professional level, not kids, and I feel prepared. People also criticised [Pep] Guardiola and [Zinedine] Zidane before they took charge at Barcelona and [Real] Madrid.
“But Koeman’s the coach now and you have to respect that. I don’t want there to be a permanent debate about that.
“For me, it would be an advantage [to work with them]. I’m in a situation at Al Sadd where I am coaching players I played with and I think it helps, because you know them.
“What coach wouldn’t want to train Messi? Who wouldn’t want a joker up their sleeve like Leo, who can make the difference in 0.1 seconds? Physically he is still in good shape. He is still the best. It would be a huge privilege to coach Messi.”
Given the lineage of Michels-Cruyff-Guardiola at the club, Xavi is certainly the next in that particular list.
His appointment, should in happen in around 12 month’s time, will surely be one of the most popular amongst an unforgiving fan base.