Xavi is eyeing the Barcelona job and an opportunity to coach superstar captain Lionel Messi, insisting he is ready to work at Camp Nou.

Barca great Xavi has long been linked with the head-coaching role and he was strongly tipped to return to the club before president Joan Laporta opted to retain Ronald Koeman.

Xavi signed a new contract with Al Sadd in May, tying the 41-year-old to the Qatari side until 2023.

But Xavi, who held the record for most Barca appearances before it was broken by Messi this past season, has his sights set on taking charge at some stage.

"I am always on the market," Xavi said during a news conference on Thursday. "The club decided to continue with Koeman and I wish him the best.

"In these last four months, I have not had any contact with [president Laporta] or anyone from the board.

"I don't know when the moment will arrive but, for me, it would be a dream to return to Barca one day. I'm in no rush, honestly, but I hope it happens.

"I understand people may think I am not ready, but I want to make it clear that I am.

"I know the club, the environment... I am coaching at a professional level, not kids, and I feel prepared. People also criticised [Pep] Guardiola and [Zinedine] Zidane before they took charge at Barca and [Real] Madrid.

"But Koeman's the coach now and you have to respect that. I don't want there to be a permanent debate about that."

Xavi played alongside the likes of Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets at Barca, where he won eight LaLiga trophies and four Champions League titles among other honours.

"For me, it would be an advantage [to work with them]. I'm in a situation at Al Sadd where I am coaching players I played with and I think it helps, because you know them," Xavi added.

"What coach wouldn't want to train Messi? Who wouldn't want a joker up their sleeve like Leo, who can make the difference in 0.1 seconds? Physically he is still in good shape. He is still the best. It would be a huge privilege to coach Messi."

Xavi has guided Al Sadd to Qatar Stars League (2020-21), Qatar Cup (2020 and 2021), Qatari super Cup (2019), Emir of Qatar Cup (2020) and Qatari Stars Cup (2019) success since becoming coach in 2019.

Xavi has signed a new contract with Al-Sadd to put an end to speculation linking him to LaLiga giants Barcelona.

A Barca great, Xavi has long been tipped to return to Camp Nou as head coach – firstly before Ronald Koeman's appointment at the start of 2020-21 and after Joan Laporta's presidential election victory.

But Spaniard Xavi will remain in charge of Qatari side Al-Sadd until 2023, it was announced on Wednesday.

The 41-year-old has guided Al-Sadd to Qatar Stars League (2020-21), Qatar Cup (2020 and 2021), Qatari super Cup (2019), Emir of Qatar Cup (2020) and Qatari Stars Cup (2019) success since becoming coach in 2019.

"We achieved a lot together, scored goals, won matches and titles, and we are all very proud of this success. Getting this kind of support is the best thing any coach can get," said Xavi, who spent 17 years with Barca, where he won eight LaLiga trophies and four Champions League titles among other honours.

"I have everything I could want to do well, and I feel proud to continue with Al-Sadd for an additional two seasons."

Xavi – who held the record for most Barca appearances before it was broken by Lionel Messi this season – also denied he has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave Al-Sadd amid Barca links.

"This is incorrect," the former Spain international added. "I have a two-season contract with Al-Sadd, and I respect this contract - and I also respect the official negotiation methods between all parties."

Xavi was celebrating on Sunday as his Al Sadd team clinched the Qatar Stars League championship, the first league title of a coaching career that many expect will lead him back to Barcelona.

The former Spain and Barca midfielder saw his players secure the trophy with a 3-0 win over Umm Salal that puts them 13 points clear with four rounds of games remaining.

Xavi previously helped Al Sadd land the 2018-19 title in what proved to be the final year of his playing career.

The 41-year-old stepped up to be head coach of the team following that campaign and has led Al Sadd to a string of trophy successes in cup competitions, but he was thrilled to finally land a league title.

"We created a new history for Al Sadd," Xavi said. "I am happy to win the league title for the first time as a coach with Al Sadd, after winning it as a player."

Goals from Baghdad Bounedjah, Yousuf Abdurisag and Rodrigo Tabata secured Sunday's win.

Xavi told the club's website: "I am happy to be in this group of players, officials, technical and medical staff. Our goal is to win all the tournaments we participate in.

"Special thanks to the fans of Al Sadd who supported the team with full force throughout the season and also in the championship match against Umm Salal, and we promise them to continue working to make them happy and win more championships for the club."

Those supporters will hope Xavi's message signals a long-term commitment to the Al Sadd cause, given he has frequently been linked with a return to LaLiga giants Barcelona, the club where he spent his entire career until moving to Qatar at the age of 35.

Such suggestions were revived during the campaign to decide Barcelona's new president; however, the man heading for victory in the vote on Sunday, Joan Laporta, indicated recently that Xavi may not yet have sufficient experience to return to Camp Nou as head coach.

Al Sadd's league title was the 15th in their history and a 75th trophy in total, the club said.

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