Barcelona legend and current Al-Sadd coach Xavi confirmed Saturday that he has tested positive for coronavirus.
The Qatari club announced via Twitter that the 40-year-old is feeling well but will isolate until he is given the green light to return.
“Today I won’t be able to join my team on their comeback to the official competition. David Prats will be there on my behalf as head of the technical staff – coach to the Al-Sadd reserves.
“A few days ago, following the Qatar Stars League protocol, I tested positive in the last COVID19 test. Fortunately, I’m feeling ok, but I will be isolated until I am given the all clear. When the health services allow it, I will be very eager to return to my daily routine and to work.
“I’d like to thank all the authorities, especially those working in Qatar Stars League, Qatar Football Association and Al-Sadd for supplying the means of early detection, reducing the spread of infection and that guarantees the normal development of the competition. Take care and see you soon on the football pitch.”
The news means Xavi will miss the restart of the 2019-20 QNB Stars League season which was suspended in March because of the pandemic. Al-Sadd are due to play Al Khor on Saturday. Xavi’s team are currently third in the table after 17 games played.
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Xavi’s Final Season Before Barcelona Return?
Al-Sadd announced in July that Xavi had signed a new one-year contract to coach the club amid speculation he will return to Barcelona. The former midfielder has previously said it’s his “dream” to manage the Catalan giants and turned down a move in January.
However, speculation remains that he will be Barcelona’s next coach, and he fuelled rumors last month by telling Sport’s Didac Peyret that he and his coaching staff are already making plans about a Camp Nou return.
“The biggest hope I have now is to be Barca coach and get Barca back to winning ways. Not me but these players and Barca triumphing. And as a consequence, our technical staff, who are preparing for it a lot and it makes us really excited.”
“I’m a club man. I would like to return at the right moment to start a project from zero. I’ve said it a lot of times but I want to take footballing decisions at Barcelona.
“It’s clear that after the elections the stage would be set, of course. I’m not ruling anything out. They came for me in January, we were speaking. I told them the circumstances and timing weren’t right.”
Xavi’s appointment as Barcelona boss would be warmly welcomed by supporters given he is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest players in the club’s history. The midfielder joined the club at the age of 11 and went on to achieve phenomenal success as a player.