Football News

Pep Guardiola backs his ex-Barcelona protege Xavi to follow in his footsteps “sooner or later”

By Ben Green

Published: 15:31, 30 October 2019

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes former Barcelona protege Xavi will manage the Catalan club “sooner or later”. 

Guardiola initially made a name for himself in the managerial sphere when he guided Barca to seven major honours during a four-year stint between 2008 and 2012.

Will Xavi manager Barca one day? Five things to know…

  • Xavi progressed through the Barca academy and enjoyed a glittering 17-year career at the Nou Camp.
  • He was an integral part of the golden era between 2008 and 2012 when Guardiola was in charge.
  • The Spaniard’s playing style was the true embodiment of Barca’s tiki-taka philosophy.
  • Xavi has since taken to management, currently coaching Qatari outfit Al Sadd.
  • Guardiola has now backed his ex-student to one day take charge of Barca.

The current City boss assembled one of the greatest sides world football has ever seen during his reign at the Nou Camp.

Among the star-studded names in his squad was La Masia graduate Xavi, who cemented his place as a Barca legend having made over 700 appearances for the club across an illustrious 17-year spell.

Xavi called time on his Barca career in 2015, moving to Qatari outfit Al Sadd. He enjoyed four years playing at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, and has since taken up a managerial role with the club.

His venture into the dugout has caught the eye of Guardiola, who believes his former student will inevitably go on to manage Barca one day.

“Sooner or later it will happen,” he said in an interview with Catalunya Radio.

“He is still very young, but it will happen. He understands football and has a lot of passion and dedication. He is brave and says things very clearly.”

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Guardiola discusses Barca tenure

The 48-year-old also took time to reflect on his stint as Barca coach, explaining the joys of watching his squad develop and grow into a side of great cohesion and respect for the badge.

“I had a great time,” he said. “Between matches there wasn’t much time to enjoy, but during the process of building the team I saw that the changes worked, and everything was flowing.

“I saw the behaviour amongst the players; the chemistry that grew and their respect for the shirt.

“It was interesting to know how they distributed wages, and everything was going well.”