Xavi Hernandez - Al Sadd - Tactical Analysis
Former Barcelona man Xavi Hernandez is widely considered one of the best midfielders of all time. In his hay-day with both Spain and Barcelona, Xavi formed one of the best midfield triads the game has ever seen, alongside Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets. He won twenty-five major trophies with Barcelona and three for Spain, before moving to Qatar ahead of the 2015-16 season. He then went on to finish his career in style, winning the Qatari league in his final season at the club in 2018-19. The very next season he was named manager of the squad and soon afterward completely revolutionized Al Sadd into a near-unstoppable unit in the QPL. The Spanish midfielder has quietly gone about his business at Al Sadd, playing in Guardiola-Esque ways and doing del-Bosque-esque things, winning six trophies in two seasons so far. Barcelona are keeping a close eye on the now 41-year-old, and in time we may see one of the game's greatest ever midfielders become one of the game's greatest ever managers. Here is a tactical analysis of Xavi Hernandez's Al Sadd.
SYSTEM OF PLAY: 4-2-3-1 / 3-4-3
To examine any team, we must first begin with their system of play. Tiki-taka is often associated with a 4-3-3 formation, but Xavi and Al Sadd swap between a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-4-3 formation instead.