Football

Xavi aims to coach Qatar at 2022 World Cup

Xavi Hernandez has said he is open to being Qatar's coach when it hosts the 2022 World Cup.

The Barcelona great, 37, who currently plays in Qatar for Al Sadd, told AFP he is "90 per cent" certain to retire at the end of this season and then launch his coaching career.

The Spanish 2010 World Cup winner said he would like to coach on the biggest stage.

Asked if that means being Qatar's coach in 2022, he replied: "Why not? I think it would be nice to be a coach here for the national team.

"We will see. I need experience, I need staff, I need everything but at least I know the Qatari players, I know the environment here."

He added: "I am here to help them to be better, to compete well at this World Cup. I think my aim is to be the head coach."

Xavi, who has been in Qatar since 2015, added that he prefers to move progressively from age-group squads to the senior team.

He advocated a playing style similar to that of the famous passing game of Barcelona, with whom he won eight La Liga and four Champions League titles.

"I think that we must follow this legacy of Johan Cruyff, of Frank Rijkaard, (Louis) van Gaal, Pep Guardiola, not only in Barcelona but also in the world of football.

"Everybody enjoyed our style, in Barcelona and the national team."

Xavi will begin coaching courses in Madrid next year.

Qatar failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, which means that in 2022 they will become the first nation to host football's biggest tournament without ever playing in a Finals since Italy in 1934.

They had three coaches during the qualification period and currently, Xavi's fellow Spaniard Felix Sanchez is in temporary charge. - AFP

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