New Barcelona boss Xavi has revealed that he snubbed the chance to take over the Brazil national team to seal his return to Camp Nou.
After months of speculation, his arrival was finally made official on Saturday, with the legendary midfielder taking over from Ronald Koeman following his departure in October.
Barcelona had to strike a deal with Qatari side Al Sadd to buy Xavi out of his contract, and the boss has revealed that they also had to fend off competition from Brazil to get the deal done.
“Yes, it is true that I spoke with Brazil,” he confessed in his presentation (via Marca). “The idea was to help Tite and take over the team after the World Cup [in 2022].
“My dream was to come to Barcelona. I feel prepared, with a lot of confidence. I believe that this is the right moment.”
Feeling ready was very important to Xavi, who went on to admit that he turned down Barcelona earlier in his managerial career because he did not agree with the timing.
“The first two times that Barcelona came calling, we didn’t feel good about it, either at a family or at a football level,” he admitted. “I felt that it was too early.
“Then, with the elections in between, it did not seem like the right moment. Now, with Joan, I have a very good relationship. I think he is the best president that this club has ever had. He called me and I had no doubts.
“I know that Joan is a guy who talks openly and speaks clearly. I see that the board look after the club.”
Xavi’s first game in charge is a big one. He will make his managerial debut in a home match against cross-city rivals Espanyol on Saturday 20 November. A vital Champions League clash with Benfica in Lisbon follows swiftly after.