Pep Guardiola has admitted that he thinks Xavi Hernandez is capable of taking the next step and managing Barcelona due to his knowledge of the game and his passion. The Blaugrana icon is rumoured to be the frontrunner in replacing the recently departed Ronald Koeman as the Catalan club’s manager.
Ronald Koeman was sacked as manager of Barcelona on Wednesday night following the unexpected defeat to Rayo Vallecano in La Liga. The Dutch manager was the subject of constant speculation which asserted that he would be replaced sooner rather than later after the Spanish club’s less than stellar start to the season. The La Liga side currently lies ninth in the La Liga table and is already nine points behind league leaders Real Sociedad and not only that, the La Liga side have struggled in the Champions League.
Two losses to Bayern Munich and Benfica in their two opening games have Barcelona placed third in their league table with Barcelona legend Xavi rumoured to take over from Koeman in the upcoming weeks as details remain to be finalized. The 41-year-old is currently managing Qatari club Al-Sadd but could be in the Barcelona dugout after the domestic season ends next month. Pep Guardiola has given his glowing endorsement to Xavi saying that the World Cup winner has more managerial experience than he did when he took the job.
"First of all I don't know what will happen. They have an interim manager and I wish him luck [referencing caretaker boss Sergi Barjuan]. Xavi, if it happens, I don't have any doubts that he's ready to do the job. He knows the environment which is so important. He knows the game, he has passion. He has more experience now that I had when I took over. If Xavi is the next manager, I wish him all the best and hopefully step by step the team can come back," Guardiola told reporters in his pre-match press conference.