Xavi wishes Messi was still at Barca

SpainIn his first press conference as Barca coach, Xavi mentioned his former teammate Lionel Messi and was happy to be compared to Pep Guardiola.

“Messi, Samuel Eto’o and Ronaldinho. I wish they were in the squad but I can’t. I’m a close friend of Messi. He texted me good luck. I wish the same for him. Messi “He’s the best player in history but he’s not here. Barca have players who can make a difference on the pitch and we can’t think of players who aren’t here,” Xavi said at the meeting. reported on 11/8.

Messi played with Xavi for 11 years, from 2004 to 2015, before the 41-year-old former midfielder went to Qatar to play. During Barca’s peak, the trio of Xavi, Messi and Andres Iniesta were considered the soul of tiki-taka play. In August, Messi left Barca after working for 21 years to join PSG, because the Nou Camp team could not sign a new contract with him because of financial barriers.

Xavi is the second most played player for the Camp Nou team with 767 matches, just behind Messi’s own record of 778 matches.

Xavi at the Barca debut on November 8.  Photo: AS.

Xavi in ​​the opening ceremony of Barca’s coach role on November 8. Photo: AS.

Xavi’s return has been compared to Pep Guardiola, who led Barca in 2008 at the age of 37. Both grew up at the La Masia academy, playing in similar positions and sharing the philosophy of controlling football. When he heard that Barca had appointed Xavi, Guardiola believed that his former student would be successful. “Comparing me to Guardiola is a positive thing,” said Xavi. “He is an example for me as a player and as a coach. I think Guardiola is the best coach in the world and if compared with him, it must be an honor. Of course, I understand the pressure of working. job in the biggest club in the world We need to demand more from the players and the results will show if the team is on the right track but I’m happy to be compared with Guardiola Big expectations are a good thing “.

In fact, not everyone who returns to the old coach is as successful as Guardiola or Zinedine Zidane. Frank Lampard (Chelsea) and Andre Pirlo (Juventus) were both quickly fired, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Man Utd) was constantly under pressure for achievements and play. When asked about this, Xavi said: “I know the club and its players well. I know there will be times when I will be criticized. Leading Barca is the hardest job, because winning is not enough, you have to help the club. beautiful kick 1-0 win by last minute goal is not considered a good result We have to pursue beautiful, perfect play hopefully I can follow in Guardiola and Zidane’s footsteps, not the rest of them “.

Regarding Barca’s play, he said: “We understand football as a positional game. Barca cannot change the way they play. We want to press high and win the ball in the opponent’s half. We want to play with a strong team. I don’t discover anything. It’s Barca’s DNA. This is a passionate team that gives everything on the pitch. After all, I still follow the philosophy of Johann Cryuff. The club’s first defender is the striker, and the first attacker is the goalkeeper. Barca needs to be a team, it’s not a matter of one player or a line. Every member needs to be part of the team and Work hard. Not only the attack, the defense also needs to practice tactics. The players need to know what they have to do on the field.”

Xavi was born in the city of Terrassa, in Catalonia in 1980. He played for the Terrassa academy at the age of four, and moved to Barca at the age of 11. Since then, Xavi has been with Barca for 24 years as a player, winning 25 professional titles including four Champions Leagues. He was also the mainstay of Spain’s midfield during his heyday, winning two Euros and a World Cup.

In 2015, Xavi switched to Al Sadd, before retiring at the age of 39. He led Al Sadd right after hanging up his boots, helping the team win seven titles. Before accepting the invitation to return to Barca, he was approached by the Brazilian Football Federation. The 41-year-old coach said: “It is true that we negotiated with Brazil for me to become Tite’s assistant, and then take charge when the 2022 World Cup ends. But my dream has always been to become Barca’s coach. I feel ready. This is the right time.”

Vinh San – Hong Duy (follow Marca)

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