A legend has returned to LaLiga Santander and is keen to make his mark on Spanish football once more. Six years on from his last game for FC Barcelona, Xavi Hernandez is back and can’t wait to get down to business at his boyhood club. There’s no better game in which to kick-start his LaLiga coaching career than the ‘Derbi Barceloni’ against RCD Espanyol. He boasts a flawless record as a player and has managed to carry on such success into his foray into management. Here are some things you may not know about the new Barcelona boss:
- Born on 25 January 1980, Xavi inherited his love for the game and FC Barcelona from his family who lived and breathed football. His father, Joaquin Hernandez, was a player back in the 1960s and 1970s, and just like his son was a midfielder. Joaquin starred for Girona FC, Reus and CE Sabadell, and even featured in LaLiga Santander with the latter club.
- On the first occasion that a young Xavi went to the Camp Nou he was mesmerised by a German called Bernd Schuster who was playing in the Gamper Trophy, an exhibition match which usually signals the start of the new season. Xavi went on to become a huge fan of Schuster’s game and further down the line as a player faced teams managed by his idol: Levante UD, Getafe CF, Real Madridand Malaga CF. He even scored a few times in these encounters.
- Very few players get a debut goal at their dream club, but Xavi Hernandez is among this select group, scoring on his maiden Barcelona appearance.It only took him 16 minutes to find the net in that game, and he went on to score a total of 85 goals in 767 appearances for the club.
- Xavi Hernandez has the honour of making the podium in the Ballon d’Or voting three years in succession. This happened in 2009, 2010 and 2011, coinciding with LaLiga title triumphs. In total Xavi won the league a total of eight times.
- The ex-Barcelona midfielder is a huge music fan. He spends a lot of time listening to a wide variety of genres, particularly artists from the 1980s. Favourites include Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Bryan Adams.