Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez has rejected a role to become Brazil’s assistant manager ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, sources have told ESPN Brasil.
Xavi, who coaches Qatari club Al Sadd, was approached by the Brazilian football federation to be Tite’s “right hand man” ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.
Spanish outlet AS was first to report the news, which added that Xavi was “surprised” with the offer. That report also added that the plan was for Xavi to take over from Tite after the World Cup.
A source said that despite the interest in Xavi, the talks were “preliminary” and that no contract or financial details were negotiated.
Xavi recently extended his contract at Al Sadd through 2023, where he has been manager since 2019. The former midfield great joined the team as a player in 2015 after 17 trophy-laden years with Barca, becoming head coach after hanging up his boots. Last month he led the team to the Qatari domestic league title while remaining unbeaten.
The World Cup winner with Spain in 2010 has been linked with a return to take over at Barcelona, with sources previously telling ESPN that the club is exploring options to replace embattled manager Ronald Koeman.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta said on Tuesday that a “cycle has ended” at the club and warned big decisions will be made as a “renewal process” begins in the coming weeks. Laporta, who was elected for a second spell as president in March, also slammed the way Koeman’s side have chucked away the league title in recent weeks as “incomprehensible.”
Koeman, who led Barca to Copa del Rey success earlier this season, still has one year left on his contract.