BARCELONA

Guardiola: "It would excite me to see Xavi managing Barcelona"

The Manchester City manager spoke about Sarri, Tuchel, Luis Enrique and says that Xavi can manage wherever he likes but he hopes it is at Barcelona one day.

Guardiola: "It would excite me to see Xavi managing Barcelona"
ALBERT GEA REUTERS

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City's manager, explained in an interview with Catalunya Radio that he hopes the day comes when Xavi Hernández manages Barcelona.

"Xavi was already a manager when he played," he said. "His eyes sparkled watching football. He will be a manager for sure. There are people who play and you would never say they will be managers. This is not the case. Xavi could be a manager wherever he likes, not just at Barcelona. You have to give him time. Sooner or later, he will manage Barcelona. He's still young, he knows football, he watches it, he has passion, dedication, he is brave and bold and he says things clearly too. It would excite me to see him manage Barcelona. On top of everything, he likes to manage and he focuses on everything."

Guardiola's high praise for Xabi Alonso

Guardiola also had high praise for Xabi Alonso, who is currently managing Real Sociedad's second team, and doing a might fine job at that. Pep says he is "one of the most gratifying players that I have managed and he will be a great manager."

Maurizio Sarri and Thomas Tuchel are two managers who Pep also praises. "Sarri's Napoli, stopping them in the Champions League was torture," he said. "I also like Tuchel, when you play against him and you see his plans, you think, 'the bastard!', everything his teams are doing is thought out. He always looks to run rings around you."

Asked who is most difficult opponents are though and Pep is quite clear: Luis Enrique's Barcelona and Klopp's Liverpool.

"I really like Luis Enrique a lot. His Barcelona played against Bayern in the semi-finals of the Champions League and, along with Liverpool, are the toughest opponent I have faced," he said. "He is one of the best people in the dressing room. He is direct and very honest. We arrived into that game with a lot of injuries, almost half the team out but if I had a full team, we would have lost anyway. They were so much better."