Guardiola believes that Xavi is ready to take the Barcelona job
Pep Guardiola has aired his thoughts on speculation linking former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez with the coaching post at Camp Nou.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is in no doubts that Xavi Hernández has what it takes to take over the reins at his former club Barcelona. Managing Al Sadd in the Qatar Stars League, Xavi has been heavily linked with a return to the Camp Nou following the departure of Ronald Koeman earlier this week.
Guardiola and Xavi, master and pupil
Widely considered one of the greatest midfielders of all time, Xavi made 767 appearances for Barça between 1998 and 2015; then a club record that has since been surpassed by Lionel Messi. He was seen as Guardiola's successor and they played together for three years before Pep's departure in 2001. Xavi went on to be the heartbeat of the side that delivered three LaLiga titles and two Champions Leagues during the former's trophy-laden tenure between 2008 and 2012. The Manchester City boss is confident the 41-year-old has the credentials to succeed at their old club, while he also empathised with another former team-mate of his in the outgoing Koeman.
Speaking ahead of City's Premier League showdown with Crystal Palace on Saturday, he said: "I don't know what's going to happen. In case [Xavi is appointed Barcelona coach], I don't have any doubts he's ready to do the job. He knows the game, he has passion and I'm pretty sure he has more experience now than I had when I took over. Ronald and myself know exactly that we depend [on] and we live [for] and we expect and we are there for the results. Nobody can survive without results – no Koeman, no Pep – we are judged for the results."
Milestone for Guardiola
Palace's visit to the Etihad Stadium will mark Guardiola's 200th Premier League game in charge of City since replacing Manuel Pellegrini in July 2016. The former Bayern Munich head coach has guided City to three league titles along the way, while they are just two points off leaders Chelsea after the opening nine matches of this season.
"When you have 200 games, it's because you've been many years and when you have been many years, it's because you won some games," he continued. "We are judged on the results, not on how good we are or bad we are, just the results. You can get these milestones because we have done quite decent with the players. I couldn't demand or ask more for what we have done so far, it's impossible. I'm incredibly happy, we saw the team grow and grow and that's the best signal you are doing well. Hopefully, in the years to come, we can continue working really well."