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Barca unveil Xavi as new manager in front of thousands at Camp Nou

FOOTBALL By Reuters | November 8th 2021
FC Barcelona's new signing coach Xavi Hernandez, right, poses next to FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta during his official presentation at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021 AP

Barcelona presented Xavi Hernandez as their new head coach in front of thousands of fans at the Camp Nou on Monday.

The 41-year-old Barca great signed his contract, which runs until 2024, on the pitch alongside club president Joan Laporta.

"It's a historical day for Barcelona. Welcome, Xavi," an emotional Laporta told the supporters during the ceremony where the ex-midfielder was accompanied by his family.

"Thank you all. I don't want to get emotional but I am, I feel goosebumps," Xavi told the fans.

"This is the biggest club in the world and I'm going to work hard to reach your expectations. Barcelona can't accept a draw or a defeat. We have to win all the games."

Xavi joined after Barca paid his release clause https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-spain-fcb-xavi/soccer-xavi-set-for-barca-as-al-sadd-agree-to-coachs-release-idUKKBN2HQ156 with Qatari club Al-Sadd. He will replace the sacked Ronald Koeman nL1N2RN3BY.

"I come prepared. My DNA didn't change. We need to take charge, have the ball, create opportunities, be intense. We have a mission to rescue many things that were lost," Xavi said.

Struggling Barca are ninth in LaLiga, 11 points adrift of leaders Real Sociedad and 10 behind arch-rivals Real Madrid.

After the presentation Xavi talked about how discipline will be a major factor in his project as Barcelona manager.

"We have to start with new rules that are going to be strict. It's not a matter of being tough, it's about having norms," he told reporters.

"When we had norms in the locker room things were good, when we didn't, it went bad. So, we need to have order. Being professionals.

"It's a medium to long-term project but we'll need to work really hard to find the results. The expectation and the demand will be the highest. No excuses will be made or accepted."

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