The Barcelona presidential elections are getting ever closer and one name that continues to pop up will not be on the ballot: Xavi Hernandez.
The possibility that the legendary No.6 returns to the Camp Nou has been misinterpreted in recent days.
While Victor Font has been clear in stating that Xavi will be a key part of his project, the current Al Sadd coach's comments to El Periodico were viewed as being negative in this regard. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.
Will Xavi arrive if Victor Font wins?
Absolutely, yes, as the candidate confirmed to MARCA last week. Xavi is a man of his word and has been speaking to Font for years about his plans for Barcelona. Therefore, if Font wins, Xavi will be the Blaugrana's general manager.
In what role?
The one of general manager may be different to what many expected, but is would give Xavi a lot of power at the club. He would begin like an adviser in the distance, until the Qatari league finishes in March or April.
From this point on, though, he would be a more prominent face and would work alongside Jordi Cruyff, who will look to create the squad as sporting director. This was all confirmed by Font to MARCA.
Of course, this enables Font to potentially keep Ronald Koeman, especially if the results this season mean that he cannot be let go. Otherwise, Xavi would become head coach in the summer.
Why wouldn't he arrive in January?
The elections are in January, but Barcelona have a coach that Xavi has a lot of respect for. Plus, the Catalan not only has an agreement with Font but also with Al Sadd's leaders, whom he is grateful for the treatment and opportunity they have given him.
Al Sadd's participation in the league and cups will not end until March or April, so only then would Xavi be able to travel to Barcelona, even if he would have already been working in the shadows as an adviser or general manager.
Why has Xavi not come out and tied himself to Font?
Xavi transcends Font and any other candidate. He is a legend and wants to be an asset to the club, whatever happens in the elections.
That is to say that he would be open to working with other candidates should they be elected. But, it is worth noting that while Xavi does not speak publicly, his commitment to Font is more than clear.
So, what about Joan Laporta?
Laporta, Font's big rival in the race for the presidency, is a good friend of Xavi, as the former midfielder has recognised on several occasions.
Xavi has said that Laporta was "the best president" he ever had as a player, and together they won a lot of titles for the common goal: Barcelona. Therefore, to speak now would be to disrespect his friend Laporta.
Could Xavi return if Font doesn't win?
It is not ruled out, but it is not how Xavi would like to return. If Laporta wins and decides to ask the Al Sadd boss if he wants to return to the Camp Nou, it would be difficult for him to turn it down.
One thing is clear, though: whether Font wins or not, Xavi will one day coach Barcelona. And Laporta is not stupid. He knows what Xavi brings, both in terms of football but also for the fans. The 40-year-old may be in Font's camp now, but life is long...
Would Xavi end his commitment to Qatar?
No. If Xavi returned to Barcelona in April, the 2010 World Cup winner would still be linked to the Qatar 2022 World Cup as an ambassador. The ties between Xavi and Qatar are strong, and his influence on football in the country is clear.
At the very least, Xavi would be an ambassador for the 2022 World Cup, although from a distance and with a different role to the one he has played up until now.
And this is everything with Xavi. On January 24, things will become clearer.
Source: Marca / Juan Castro