"Mourinho seeks war not football", says former Barcelona player Xavi
The Barcelona legend spoke about Mourinho and Guardiola ahead of Wednesday's Manchester Derby.
Xavi was with Barcelona when Mourinho was in charge of the Catalan club's arch rivals Real Madrid and knows about the 53-year-old manager’s mind games.
“Sometimes, when things don't go well for Mourinho, he wants war, not football, like when he was at Madrid and I hope we don't see that again in England,” said Xavi on the former Porto manager.
However, the former Spanish international also said that the Portuguese is one of the best managers in football at the moment.
The rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola reached a venomous level when they managed Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, and Xavi, who has played under Guardiola at Barcelona, expects history to repeat itself with the managers in charge of English clubs Manchester United and Manchester City.
The legendary midfielder is also of the opinion that the duel between the two managers “can be the best in football.”
Xavi says Pep-Mou rivalry good for football
Xavi has backed his former coach Guardiola to succeed at Manchester City and to change English football. The current Al-Sadd player also added that the battle between Guardiola and Mourinho is an added bonus to English football.
“When I knew they would be rival coaches again, I knew it would be good for football. I knew it would be especially good for English football. They're two of the best coaches in the world and their duel can be the best in football,” Xavi said about the rivalry between Guardiola and Mourinho.
Even though Guardiola's Manchester City have almost gone a month without a win, they still sit on top of the table. Mourinho, on the other hand, has had a very poor start to the season with Manchester United. The Red Devils sit seventh on the points table and are six points behind their derby rivals.
Don’t think United can win league this season, says Xavi
The 36-year-old player also thinks that Manchester United cannot challenge for the title this season and instead should focus on securing a UEFA Champions League spot.
“The domestic competitions have to be everything for United and Mourinho this season. I don't think this season they can win the Premier League. These competitions are their hope for a trophy.”
“Once Mourinho has had another transfer window, maybe they'll be ready, but for now they must secure a finish in a Champions League spot, that's where United belong,” Xavi said.
City will win league, says the former Barca midfielder
However, the former Barcelona midfielder suggested that Manchester City could be the champions this season under Pep Guardiola despite the team without a win in five consecutive matches in all competitions.
“Pep will also want to win his first competition with City. That will be important for him. Even with City dropping some points in the league, I still think under they'll be champions this season,” Xavi said on his former boss' chances of winning the Premier League title with Manchester City this season.
Jose Mourinho's Manchester United will take on Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, the second clash between the two managers this season.
Guardiola got the better of Mourinho when their teams met in September where Manchester City won 2-1 in the Premier League.