REG­GAE NIGHTS

Qatar Today - - CULTURE -

Midfielder Xavi Her­nan­dez con­firmed to join Al Sadd af­ter 17 years with Barcelona.

To­gether Bob Mar­ley and the Wail­ers brought reg­gae to the global stage and con­tinue to in­flu­ence its evo­lu­tion. The last sur­viv­ing mem­ber of the orig­i­nal band, As­ton "Fam­ily Man" Bar­rett, now anchors the Wail­ers band, who per­formed in Doha for one night only last month at the Sher­a­ton. They per­formed their Le­gends al­bum in its en­tirety in­clud­ing hits like No Woman No Cry, Buf­falo Soldier, Jamming and One Love. It was the worst-kept se­cret in the history of Qatari football. With Xavi's con­tract with Barcelona at an end, ru­mours were rife about his fu­ture. Till re­cently, the bet was that he'll be go­ing the David Beck­ham way with Ma­jor League Soc­cer's New York City F.C. But it turns out he has set his sights east­ward. Xavi was re­port­edly tour­ing Doha with his fam­ily to check out the fa­cil­i­ties ear­lier this year. An­a­lysts spec­u­lated that Qatar might be strate­gi­cally the best move for Xavi as, along with play­ing for Al Sadd, he could train to be a coach at As­pire and po­ten­tially coach Qatar's na­tional team in 2022. This was all pure spec­u­la­tion at that point un­til an Al Sadd of­fi­cial pre­ma­turely tweeted about Xavi's sign­ing (though the club re­tracted the news). Last month, the an­nounce­ment was made of­fi­cial though the de­tails of the trans­fer haven't been made public. Media re­ports men­tioned that the ini­tial two-year deal might be worth €10 mil­lion (QR40.5) a year to Xavi, though there has been no con­fir­ma­tion re­gard­ing this. Mean­while, this is just more good news for the Al Sadd team, the newly crowned Emir Cup cham­pi­ons. The now 15-time win­ner de­feated El Jaish 2-1 dur­ing the fi­nals at Khal­ifa Sta­dium.

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