Joan Laporta, president of Barcelona, said on Friday he had received glowing reports about Xavi Hernandez’s credentials as coach and admitted he would like to have him as Barca coach during his presidency. But Laporta refused to confirm Xavi would succeed Ronald Koeman, who was sacked on Wednesday night, and insisted Barca had “other options”. Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said he had “no doubt” that Xavi was ready to coach the club. Laporta’s enthusiastic assessment of Barca’s legendary former midfielder will be taken as a strong indication that he is the preferred replacement for Koeman.
After a glamorous career at Camp Nou, Xavi left in 2015 to play for Al Sadd in Qatar before becoming coach of the team two years ago.
“I said this when he went to Qatar that Xavi would eventually be the coach of Barça, in fact I would like him to be the coach of Barça during my presidency – what I do not know is when,” Laporta said. . a press conference Friday.
“It is true that the reports we have about him are very good. I did not follow Al Sadd, but we talked about Barca games over the phone. We almost watched matches together.
“Let me not say more. For all the talk of Xavi, there are other options as well. Barca have other options.”
Barcelona’s B team coach Sergi Barjuan has been temporarily placed in charge and Laporta said he is expected to be in the match for the matches against Alaves in La Liga on Saturday and Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Xavi’s first game could be away to Celta Vigo four days later.
“Xavi is in a very interesting process. He is developing very well and I have very good references about him, from people close to him and from people who know him better than I do,” Laporta said.
“I talk to him regularly. I know very well what he thinks of the team, his opinions and what he thinks should be done.”
Guardiola threw his support behind Xavi, whom he coached during a golden period for Barcelona between 2008 and 2012.
Many people at Camp Nou hope that Xavi will follow in Guardiola’s footsteps by repeating the iconic ‘tiki-taka’ style of that Barca team.
“I have no doubt he is ready to coach at Barca,” Guardiola told a news conference in Manchester.
“He knows football, he knows the club’s environment, which is very important at Barca, and he has more experience than I had when I got the job.”
Laporta said they fired Koeman because “the situation was not sustainable” and the team “was not on track to achieve the goals of the season, namely to win titles”.
He admitted he should have fired the Dutchman earlier.
“Possibly we should have fired Koeman earlier and I take responsibility for that,” said Laporta. “We thought he needed support, but we clearly drove.”
Topics mentioned in this article