After a week of discussions with his now-former club Al-Sadd, Xavi Hernandez was formally introduced as Ronald Koeman’s successor at Camp Nou on Monday.
The iconic midfielder has returned to Barcelona six years after concluding his career there and joining the Qatari club as a player/coach. His track record of success, which includes winning the Qatar Stars League last season as well as five other titles, prompted club president Joan Laporta to support his appointment to lead the Blauragana out of their dilemma.
After promising to offer greater discipline, the change in mentality is already being felt in the Barcelona locker room, with Gerard Pique being the first to experience the new treatment from his former colleague.
According to reports in the Catalan press, Pique has a TV interview set for next week with Pablo Motos’ show El Hormiguero, but the interview has now been canceled due to the arrival of Xavi.
Following that, Xavi chatted with a few players who were available for his first training session, since other high-profile players had returned to their national teams for the international break. In the meeting, which included a number of injured players, the former Barcelona captain outlined the following rules, according to AS:
- Players must arrive for training at least an hour and a half early.
- Staff must arrive at least two hours early.
- Players must eat at Cuitat Esportiva. Fines will be in place for lateness and will multiply per offense.
- Fines have been reinstituted.
- Exponential sanctions.
- No arriving home after 12am within 48 hours of a game.
- Starting spots are awarded completely based on performances in training.
- There are no guarantees for any players.
- Risky activities (such as surfing) are prohibited during the season.
- Players must represent Barcelona properly whether they are around the club or away on holiday.
Take a look at this from Barca Twitter:
Highlights from Xavi’s first workout as Barça manager pic.twitter.com/SsqLslunZi
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 10, 2021