Barca is traditionally one of the world’s most successful clubs and the Catalans have remained around the top of Spanish football even when they have uninspiring managers.
Xavi had an amazing playing career in Europe before moving to the Middle East to finish it and he also started his managerial career at Al Sadd, where he played between 2015 and 2019.
That is not the best place to start a managerial career if you want to become one of the best managers in the world, but managing outside Europe is not the most important reason you can fail or succeed at the job.
As a midfielder for Barca, Xavi played under some of the world’s best coaches and achieved a lot of success on the pitch.
These bosses will have transmitted to the Spaniard some really good managerial advice that will bolster his knowledge base and leadership skills.
Towards the end of his playing days, Xavi played under Guardiola and Enrique, two managers who led the Catalan side to victory in the Champions League and to dominate world football, with further wins in La Liga and Club World Cup.
The 43-year-old looks set to become the next Barca gaffer that could lead the club to European and worldwide dominance, and it could start next season. Here is why:
Young players impressing
Xavi has trusted the young guns at Barca and has been committed to promoting even more players from the club’s famous La Masia academy.
Having also been a graduate of the system, he knows how much quality abounds there, and the promoted players haven’t been disappointing in any way.
Gavi (18) and Pedri (20) have both won the last two editions of the Golden Boy Award and have impressed since they were promoted to the senior side.
Alejandro Balde, 19, has also just been promoted, but having been in the Spain squad for the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar, you can tell that the youngster is the real deal.
These young players, as well as Ansu Fanti, who is still just 20 but seems to be older because he has been in the team since 2020, are top talents.
With these youngsters impressing and delivering some of the finest performances in Europe, Barca is in a good position to dominate the continent again next season.
With Lewandowski no goals’ problem
Robert Lewandowski’s move from Bayern Munich to Barca is probably one of the most important transfers the Catalans have made in the last few seasons.
The Poland international scored 238 goals in 253 league matches alone for Bayern before leaving the German side to move to Catalonia.
When you have Lewandowski in your squad, goals are never a problem, and it has come from that since he moved to the Spanish side.
He scored 22 goals in his first 24 matches for Barca, and that number can only get better. At this rate, it is hard for any defense to stop the ex-Bayern Munich man from scoring, and it means Barca has a nice focal point in attack as they look to become a top side in the continent again.
With youth team players who can play and a striker who can score the needed goals, it’s hard not to see Barcelona get back in their groove by next season.
La Liga remains one of the strongest leagues
The quality of your domestic league is very important in shaping your European campaign and Barcelona plays in one of the continent’s top five competitions.
The Spanish La Liga has consistently produced European Champions, with Real Madrid holding the current trophy, having defeated Liverpool in the final last year.
Barca has given Madrid a run for their money in the league for many years and both clubs are also having a very close league campaign this year.
It remains to be seen who will eventually win the title. However, this competition for the top spot means Barca is in a race that will strengthen their ability to win trophies and if they eventually end the term with the title, it will prepare them to dominate next season as we have predicted.
Beating Madrid in the Super Cup
Having won the league in Qatar before moving back to Spain, fans had expected a lot from Xavi when he was named manager, but they had to wait patiently for the ex-midfielder to make the current side a winning team and it came in a fine fashion.
Facing the current European and Spanish champions in the Super Cup final, the Catalans served up a memorable game and defeated their archrivals 3-1 in Riyadh to give their manager his first European trophy.
Barca had only managed to earn a place in the final via penalties in the semis against Real Betis, but they turned on the style against Madrid and showed why they remain one of the sides to keep an eye on going forward.
That win has now prepared the squad for more success and could make them explode in the domestic and European scene in the next campaign.
The Catalans have some of the most dedicated fans in the world, so selling Barcelona tickets has never been a problem even when the team was performing quite poorly in the league and in other competitions.
An impressive squad depth
Barca quickly attracted many top players when Xavi became their manager and when Lewandowski moved to the club, they already had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Memphis Depay and Martin Braithwaite as attacking options for their manager.
The arrival of the Polish striker meant Xavi was spoilt for choice before the club eventually offloaded Aubameyang and Depay in the summer and winter transfer windows.
That depth in attack is also present in many positions in the Catalans squad, which hands the gaffer greater flexibility when making selections.
In midfield, former AC Milan man Franck Kessie has struggled to play since he moved to the club, and at some point, Frenkie de Jong was forced to play as a defender to get game time.
This type of squad depth means Barca is prepared to challenge for the best trophies they can get as long as they are participants in the competition.
Managers have many problems which they hate to deal with, but a selection headache is not one of them.
Rather, when they can name just about the strongest teams, that improves their chances of earning all three points in any fixture.
Xavi is one of the youngest managers in European football, but his terrific playing career, as well as his experience working with some of the best managers around, means the ex-midfielder is clearly in line to bring success back to Camp Nou.
That could happen from next season as his team would have reached a new level of togetherness and found the right tempo for everyone in the group, which is currently missing.
If they win La Liga this term, it will hand them even more confidence to chase more trophies in the 2023/2024 term, but the Catalans must also keep their best men to continue progressing.