November 24, 2020

Xavi wants ‘dream team’ of coaching assistants at Barcelona including Puyol & Jordi Cruyff

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The former midfielder looks set to take over his old club one day and has set his sights on bringing in some fellow Blaugrana icons as backroom staff

Former Barcelona captain Xavi has reiterated his desire to one day become head coach at Camp Nou and stated that he would like to draft in the likes of former team-mates Carles Puyol and Jordi Cruyff to assist him in his duties.

The Catalan club had been in touch with the former midfielder – who is currently in the dugout of Qatari side Al Sadd – before appointing Quique Setien, but Xavi made it clear that the opportunity had come too quickly.

Internal issues also played a part in the 40-year-old’s decision, with major questions continuing to be asked of president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s running of the club – particularly regarding the Blaugrana’s recent poor transfer business.

It is widely believed that Xavi’s day will come, however, and the World Cup winner already appears to have plans in mind for who will make up his backroom staff.

“I am delighted to continue gaining coaching experience and challenging myself, but of course it would be a privilege for me to train Barca one day,” he said in an interview with El Pais. “I’d want a dream team, with Jordi Cruyff, Carles Puyol and some current players.

“I would like to make a team with important people who know the club, people who I trust and will be loyal to me.”

For now, however, Barca will have to make do with Setien, a man for whom Xavi admits to having great respect for due to his style of coaching, but admits that the exciting “Cruyffismo” style counts for little if the club doesn’t win games.

“In January I told them that it was not the right time and since then they have not contacted me,” he said. “As a ‘cule’ I wish them the best. I respect Quique Setien a lot, he has a style very similar to what Barca needs, which is ‘Cruyffismo’, but another thing is the results that accompany…”

The prevailing opinion on Barca at present is that they are overly reliant on Lionel Messi, a player who may well have hung up his boots by the time his old team-mate steps into the Camp Nou dugout, but Xavi still feels the Argentine can lead the club to another Champions League title.

“Messi needs Barca and Barca needs Messi,” he added. “They have to make him happy because with him they will win more titles. I maintain a great friendship with him, I respect him a lot. 

“He’s a competitive animal, he always wants to win and for ten years he has been the best footballer in the world. Hopefully, we can meet again on a professional level. Having the best player in history on your team means you always have an ace to win.”