Barcelona & Spain legend Xavi tests positive for coronavirus

Xavi Al-Sadd 2019
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The 40-year-old was due to take charge of Al Sadd's game with Al Khor on Saturday, but he will now self-isolate in line with Covid-19 guidelines

Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi has announced he has tested positive for coronavirus.

The 40-year-old, currently manager of Qatar Stars League side Al Sadd, said on Instagram that he wasn’t experiencing symptoms but will self-isolate until he has recovered.

Al Sadd are scheduled to play Al Khor on Saturday, with the Qatari top division returning after four months of Covid-19 suspension.

Xavi said: “Today I will not be able to accompany my team in the return to official competition.

“David Prats, reserve coach, will take my place as head of the technical team.

“A few days ago, following the QSL protocol, I tested positive in my most recent Covid-19 test.

“Luckily, I feel perfectly fine, but following the protocol, I will remain isolated until I have overcome it.

“When the medical authorities allow me, I will return to my daily routine and work more eagerly than ever.

“I thank all the authorities, especially those which allowed us the means for an early detection that avoids more spreading of the virus and guarantees the normal continuation of the season.

“A hug, and see you soon on the football pitch!”

Xavi has been in charge of Al Sadd since May 2019, leading them to the semi-finals of last year's AFC Champions League.

He had previously spent the final four years of his playing career at the club. He joined in 2015, leaving Barcelona after their stunning treble-winning season in 2014-15.

Xavi signed a one-year contract extension earlier in July but he is still widely expected to take over as Barca manager at some point in the future.

Last month, he told Sport: "The biggest hope I have now is to be Barca coach and get Barca back to winning ways.

“Our technical staff are preparing for it a lot and it makes us really excited.

"I'm a club man. I would like to return at the right moment to start a project from zero.

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"I've said it a lot of times but I want to take footballing decisions at Barcelona.

"It's clear that after the elections the stage would be set, of course. I'm not ruling anything out.

"They came for me in January, we spoke about it. I told them the circumstances and timing weren't right."

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