Santi Cazorla has issued an emotional farewell to Xavi Hernandez as he leaves Al Saad to become Barcelona’s new manager.

DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 05: Generation Amazing ambassador Xavi Hernandez addresses delegates during day 2 of Soccerex Asia on December 5, 2016 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images)
DOHA, QATAR – DECEMBER 05: Generation Amazing ambassador Xavi Hernandez addresses delegates during day 2 of Soccerex Asia on December 5, 2016 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images)

Barcelona finally announced that Xavi Hernandez would become their new manager after they sacked Ronald Koeman last year.

The former Barcelona legend had been managing Al Saad in Qatar where his star man was Arsenal fan favourite, Santi Cazorla.

Taking to Twitter, Cazorla said, “Partner, mister and above all friend, you deserve all the best both you and all the staff, it has been a pleasure and I will always be grateful for giving me the opportunity to enjoy by your side, I know that it is a very special moment for you and yours so enjoy it.”

Xavi became manager of Al Saad in July 2019. He took charge of 91 matches with an average points-per-game of 2.19 (2.78 for his nine games this season).

After missing the first few games of the campaign, Santi Cazorla recently returned to action with a substitute appearance against Al-Gharafa SC on October 17th.

That cameo saw him fit just in time to start in the Amir Cup final a few weeks ago. The cup is played in a calendar-year format, hence why the final took place just after the start of the league campaign.

The former Gunner made a big impact on the day. He scored an equalising penalty in the second half of the final, before scoring in the shootout – which his team won 5-4.

Cazorla wrote afterwards: “What an incredible game and what a great family we are and another title for Al-Sadd, incredible also to play in front of our fans, thanks for the support.”

Returning to the league action, Cazorla made his first start of the campaign a few days later against Umm Salal SC, and he had another big impact in their 3-1 win.

Cazorla’s side went behind in the early stages, but he helped draw them level with an assist just seven minutes later. The 36-year-old cut the ball back to the edge of the box for Akram Afif to finish.

Before half an hour had been played, Cazorla gave Al-Sadd the lead. He and Afif switched roles, with the latter cutting it back for Cazorla to finish under the goalkeeper and make it 2-1.

The Spaniard even had a role to play in the third goal, breaking the lines to find Rodrigo Tabata, who assisted Andre Ayew.

Cazorla has been a big success with Al-Sadd, providing plenty of goals and assists as they’ve won the Qatar Stars League, the Qatar Cup, the Qatari Stars Cup and the Amir Cup (twice).

This season, he has one goal and one assist in four Stars League games.

The 36-year-old even won the Qatar FA’s Best Player of the Year award for 2020/21.

It’s always good to see him doing well.