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Xavi: "In terms of football Neymar would be an amazing signing for Barcelona"

The Barça legend gave an interview to La Vanguardia in which he spoke about his working methods: "I'd like to work with people I know and trust, like Puyol and Jordi Cruyff".

Xavi: "In terms of football Neymar would be an amazing signing for Barcelona"

Xavi Hernández gave an interview which was published in today's edition of La Vanguardia, one of the first times he has spoken to the Spanish media since turning down the Barça job back in January after Ernesto Valverde was sacked. The former Barcelona midfielder admitted that he would to return to Camp Nou to take the Barça coaching job one day in the future, and that he would enlist people within his close circle who known the club inside out to work alongside him if that happens. He also said that he would sign different players, ones who bring something extra to the team like Neymar...

The ideal Barça if you were the coach now: "I think a big part of the current squad is amazing. Starting with the goalkeeper, who I think is the best in the world; Jordi Alba, for me, is the best left-back in the world; Piqué, the best centre-back in the world; Busquets, the best defensive midfielder in the world and Messi is the best player in the world. And then f you add to that Luis Suárez, De Jong and Arthur, the latter two are players who I think could go on to triumph at Barça over the next 10 years, the backbone of the team is very good. I'd sign wingers, someone like Neymar. I don't know whether he'd be able to fit back in with the current climate at the club but in terms of football, I'm in no doubt that he would be an incredible signing. Barça have no problem playing through the middle… but they don't have any wide players like, for example Bayern. They don't need to make many new signings - maybe Jadon Sancho, Serge Gnabry…"

Neymar celebrates his stunner against Villarreal in November 2015.
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Neymar celebrates his stunner against Villarreal in November 2015.ALBERT GEAREUTERS

Xavi's ideal working conditions

Who would form part of your coaching staff if you returned to Barça: "I like working with people I know and trust, people who are loyal, who know what they're doing. I wouldn't want any toxic people near the squad. We're talking about the likes of Carles Puyol, who was Barça captain, and Jordi Cruyff, a person who is excellent at negotiating and has a great deal of experience working as a technical secretary. I'm very much a team worker; I don't like making decisions on my own. Here, all decisions are made after consulting other members of staff… it's a horizontal, consensual structure. Although I am the one who has the final say.

What about the board and club directors, in what situation would you feel most comfortable working at Barça: "Obviously, I like to get along well with everyone I work with. I wouldn't want any negative or toxic influences within the squad, and the medical side is also important as far as I'm concerned… everything needs to fit together. I like coaching alongside people from my own circle - they're the kind of people I'd bring in to be part of the team. There'd be no hard and fast rules about it but ideally, I like there to be a strong sense of harmony. Whether that's possible is another matter…I don't have any axe to grind with anyone - and I'd also like to say here, I don't have a bad relationship with Bartomeu, I got on well with Laporta and I'm friends with Víctor Font. Whatever is good for Barça is good for me.

Representing Spain, feeling Spanish or more inclined towards Catalán independence: "I felt very proud to have played for the national team. I've never hidden the fact. I get really upset about certain political things and injustice but that's got nothing to do with it...  I wanted to play for Spain all of my life and I'm proud that I was able to do so. Of course I don't have anything against Spain - my own country and one which has given me so much and treated me so well. What I thought was unfair was that people were not allowed to vote in a legal referendum. Let the people decide their future, people who protested pacifically. That's the only thing that I have to say. I'm in favour of freedom for the people, I'm not against Spain".


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