New FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was thinking about his future back in 2008, and at least for a brief period of time, he was considering a future away from Barcelona. Where was he considering? Why, it was Bavaria and Bayern Munich, of course.
“After EURO 2008, I felt that Barcelona were ready to give up. Real Madrid were champions, not us. I knew the club were ready to sell me, if a good offer came,” Xavi said to MARCA (via Sport Bild). “I spoke to my agent Ivan Corretja and he told me that there was an offer from Bavaria. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wanted me.”
What else was happening in 2008 that would lead Bayern to putting out feelers for Xavi? Bastian Schweinsteiger was thinking about leaving Munich for Inter Milan. Xavi, however, didn’t need to wait for Schweinsteiger’s destination to be determined before making up his mind. All it took was a conversation with the (at the time) new Barcelona coach and future Bayern coach Pep Guardiola to convince Xavi to remain in Catalonia.
“Guardiola became the new coach in Barcelona. And I played a great 2008 European Championship. Pep told me I wasn’t going anywhere and explained that he couldn’t imagine Barcelona without me. I was captivated by his words.”