Ex-Barcelona star Xavi hails “influential” and “perfectionist” Pep Guardiola
Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez thinks the former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is the most influential figure in Football since the past decade and a “perfectionist” at that.
“Guardiola improved us all," Xavi told a spectator in the Amsterdam Arena. He also believes that Guardiola is the most influential footballing character he has seen since last decade.
Xavi was a part of Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning Barcelona team in 2008-09 season. According to several pundits, Guardiola had changed the basics of Spanish La Liga in his reign Barcelona reign.
The former Barcelona midfielder thinks that Pep Guardiola has the ability to change the dynamics of English Football and Manchester City can develop hugely under the management of Guardiola. “If anyone can change the dynamics of English football, it is Guardiola,” said Xavi to Spanish newspaper Marca. “He is influential, obsessive and a perfectionist. City will learn a lot from him and they are beginning to see a style,” he further added.
Manchester City was enjoying a 100% record under Pep Guardiola since the beginning of the season before being stopped by Celtic and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League and in the Premier League respectively.
Xavi also revealed that he keeps close tabs on Barcelona after leaving the Catalonian side in 2015. When asked about his reaction after Barcelona’s recent league defeat against Celta Vigo he said, "I wasn't able to watch the game but it seems that there were many individual errors.” However, the 36-year-old also thinks that his former club is on another level despite the defeat yesterday, “The club is on another level, and that's something you see especially when you leave the club."
The midfielder also revealed that he is proud of what Luis Enrique has implemented in his Barcelona squad. "The idea is to be dominant and have the ball, they also have the best players in almost every position and I am proud to watch them play. With Luis Enrique, they are working very well, but sometimes the result doesn't always match the level of performance,” Xavi said.
Xavi also revealed that he believes Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is the favorite to win this year’s Ballon d’Or award, “Ronaldo has a big chance to win this year's Golden Ball having won the Champions League and the European Championship. But I also think it will be very competitive because there is Messi, of course,” Xavi concluded.