February 26, 2021

Guardiola could return to coach Barcelona one day, claims presidential candidate

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Toni Freixa wants to see greater importance placed on La Masia academy and says there is much the Catalan club can learn from Bayern Munich

Pep Guardiola could one day return to Barcelona as head coach of the first team, presidential candidate Toni Freixa has declared, as he revealed a manifesto designed to lift the Catalans back to the top of the game.

The Camp Nou side have seen their reputation battered in 2020, as they failed to retain their Primera Division crown and suffered a humiliating Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Bayern Munich, who defeated them 8-2.

With star player Lionel Messi now agitating for a move, the club finds itself in disarray and Freixa believes that they need to go back to basics, with the Manchester City boss, who won 14 titles in his previous four-year stint in charge of the club, a man he sees as a natural option to lift them back to where they belong.

“Pep once let it be known that he would like to head the Barca academy in the future, but he would also be a wonderful solution for the first team,” he told Goal. “The important thing is that the team plays successful and exciting football again, and that nothing like what happened against Bayern happens. 

“They exposed us for over 90 minutes, all the mistakes and failures of the team, but even more so the weaknesses of the sporting leadership in recent years. It was the end of the end. Now it’s time for a change.”

While Xavi, the club’s great former central midfielder, has been touted as a potential coach one day, Freixa believes it is too soon to call upon the services of the World Cup winner, who is presently only one year into his career in the dugout with Al Saad.

“He would be one possibility,” Freixas said when asked if the ex-Spain man will return as coach. “Xavi is just taking his first steps as a manager, he still needs time. The question is not whether he will return, but when.”

The secretary of the club when they were in their pomp under Guardiola, Freixa has seen at first-hand what is required for success and has set out a roadmap to return to those days.

“My goal would be to bring about an era similar to the one I had under Pep,” he explained. “The past is not repeatable, but the club must go back to its base. It needs a philosophy of play that is practised both in the youth teams and in the professional team. La Masia deserves a more important role than it has today. 

“The squad must consist of world-class players and of players who can become world-class players. Here, Barca can also take Bayern Munich as an example.”