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Monday, January 24, 2022

Al Sadd’s new coach Javi Gracia eager to kick off following Xavi exit

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The new appointment comes a month after FC Barcelona star Xavi Hernadez and former Al Sadd coach left Qatar. 

Qatar’s Al Sadd sports club announced Javi Gracia as the team’s new head coach, in a press conference at Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena on Wednesday.

The press conference was attended by the club’s CEO Turki Al-Ali and Mohamed Ghanem Al-Ali, along with media representatives as well as Al Sadd fans.

“The coach is a big name and has overseen the training of big clubs in the Spanish and English leagues. Javi was chosen after careful study. I believe that there is a common desire for the club and the coach, which is winning championships,” Al-Ali said.

Read also: Barcelona welcomes return of Xavi following tearful farewell from Qatar’s Al Sadd

The appointment comes after former Spaniard coach Xavi Hernandez exited the club to rejoin Barcelona after two years with the Qatari team. 

“I am happy to be in Doha. I know Al Sadd is a very big club. I know the good things Xavi did here as a player and coach. We will maintain the same offensive mentality, and try to be aggressive in the opponent’s half,” Gracia said in a statement to the press.

“To play well, we need a good balance and we will try to find it, and achieve our targets, which is to win by keeping a good style of play.”

The Spanish football manager said signing with Al Sadd was an “easy” decision. The two sides signed a one year contract, with the option of an extension. 

“From the beginning, I could feel the interest of the club. It is the right place and right time to do a good job. I am sure we are going to enjoy this experience and we will try to do our best.”

He stressed on the importance of improving the club, which in turn can “contribute to the development of the national team”

Gracia joined the Qatari club after he was let go from Valencia earlier this year following poor results with the club, placed 14th in Spain’s La Liga.

He previously coached the English Premier League team, Watford. 


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