Barcelona Boss Xavi Opens Up About the Burden of Pep Guardiola Comparisons

Barcelona Boss Xavi Opens Up About the Burden of Pep Guardiola Comparisons

Ero Samson
May 31, 2023 at 11:50 AM
  • Xavi Hernandez has admitted that the constant comparisons to Pep Guardiola are weighing him down
  • The Barca legend won his first LaLiga title this season since returning to Barcelona as manager
  • Barcelona fans hope Xavi can replicate Guardiola’s success at the Camp Nou

Xavi has enjoyed an impressive first full season as Barcelona’s head coach, guiding the club to their first La Liga title since 2019.

However, he has faced criticism for his pragmatic style of play, with Barcelona recording eleven 1-0 wins and 26 clean sheets - the joint-best defensive record in the competition's history.

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Xavi won his first La Liga title this season since returning to Barcelona. Image: Alex Caparros.
Source: Getty Images

As a player, Xavi was part of Guardiola's legendary Blaugrana side between 2008 and 2012, which was built around a 'tiki-taka' philosophy that delivered unprecedented success.

There have been widespread calls for the current Barcelona boss to take a similar approach, but he is tired of being compared to Guardiola - who is now working wonders at the helm of Manchester City.

"The figure of Guardiola is weighing me down as a coach," Xavi said in an interview with Catalan outlet TV3.
"I don't think it's fair to constantly make the comparison. It happened to me when I was a player as well. Everyone has to turn the page."

Xavi to extend Barcelona contract

Despite a perceived lack of appreciation for his efforts so far in the Camp Nou dugout, Xavi is ready to commit to a contract extension that will see him remain at Barca through 2026 as reported earlier by Sport.

Pressed on whether negotiations with the club are progressing well, Xavi told TV3:

"Yes. We will come to an understanding sooner rather than later. I know the club will make as much of an effort as they can and there won't be any problems. I'll end up renewing and hopefully, I can continue here for many years."

Having already lifted the Primera Division trophy for 2022-23, Barcelona will look to finish their campaign on a high note when they take a trip to Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Messi to Barcelona makes sense

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on Barcelona coach, Xavi's verdict on Messi's return to the Camp Nou, claiming the move would make sense for everyone involved.

The Argentine swapped Barca for PSG in 2021, on the back of La Blaugrana's ailing financial situation, but has been linked with a potential return in the summer.

It remains to be seen if Messi will make the summer switch to Barcelona.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is an experienced sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry
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