‘It wouldn’t be a problem’: Xavi insists he would be more than capable of managing former team-mates after being linked with Barcelona job amid mounting pressure on Ernesto Valverde
- Xavi believes he is able to get the best out of his former Barcelona team-mates
- Pressure is building on Ernesto Valverde after the 2-0 defeat by Granada
- Xavi has already led Al-Sadd to an Asian Champions League semi-final this term
- The 38-year-old believes Barca need to balance a midfield which is too attacking
Barcelona legend Xavi believes he is perfectly capable returning to manage his former club, piling the pressure on current boss Ernesto Valverde.
Barca have made their worst start to a campaign since 1994-95, standing eighth in the La Liga table after falling to a 2-0 defeat at leaders Granada.
The 39-year-old believes his close relationship with former team-mates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez would enable him to thrive in the Nou Camp hot seat.
Al-Sadd boss Xavi Hernandez believes he is capable of managing former club Barcelona
Xavi has won his first three matches as manager of Al-Sadd in Qatar, reaching the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League.
His progress has prompted speculation he could become the next manager of the Catalan club, and the former midfielder has had his say on his current role and the malaise at Barca.
‘I don’t know if it will be a bridge to Barca,’ Xavi told Spanish outlet Ara. ‘The only thing that worries me now is doing well here, winning titles and making mistakes in some aspects to learn for the future.
Pressure is mounting on Ernesto Valverde after the 2-0 defeat by Granada
‘It wouldn’t be a problem (to manage former team-mates). I know what Leo is like, and Luis (Suarez), Sergio Busquets, Jordi (Alba), (Gerard) Pique or Sergi (Roberto).
‘I know how they train, their capacity for leadership, I can tell if they are sad or angry. I hope as a coach I could have three, five, eight or 10 players that I already knew and that I already had a good relationship with.
‘(Messi) is a player who, if you convince him, he can even be a brilliant defender. He has physical and mental speed. He has everything. If you convince him to run, what will the others do? They will run twice as much.’
‘The problem in the midfield is that nobody is doing any defensive work, so they suffer when they have to retreat,’ Xavi said.
Xavi believes Lionel Messi is a player who can inspire his team-mates to run ‘twice as much’
‘The coach is very important, but without the players there is nothing to do.’
Barcelona have won two lost two and drawn one of their first five league games and were slightly fortunate to pick up a point in their opening Champions League game at Borussia Dortmund.
Valverde’s men return to action when they host Villareal on Tuesday evening.
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