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Xavi explains Guardiola's influence on coaching career

Xavi explains Guardiola's influence on coaching career
Pep Guardiola is continuing to influence Xavi’s career.

As a team-mate he preceded the younger man as the metronome in Barcelona’s midfield and as a manager, Guardiola made Xavi one of the pillars of his side that swept all before them in his glorious four-year spell in charge at the Nou Camp.

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Quite simply, Xavi was to Guardiola what Guardiola had been to Johan Cruyff, who had the most significant influence on the Manchester City boss’ coaching philosophy.

Now it seems Pep has passed that baton on to Xavi, who has again followed in his footsteps by embarking on his own managerial career.

“My concept is very similar,” the 40-year-old, who is at the helm of Qatari outfit Al Sadd, told mancity.com

Guardiola also wants to be dominant, he wants to have the ball, strong possession, lots of attacking movements... It's ultimately about being proactive within the game.

“It’s about skilfully attacking the opponent in a certain way. In this sense it is not my idea.

“I've learned a lot with Guardiola, from the way he is, the ambition he has, the desire and passion that he feels.

“He's a football-obsessed tactician and it has been a pleasure to be around him.

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“We talk often. We’ve got a good relationship.  We met up in the summer and grabbed a bite to eat, which was really nice.

“To be honest, I consider him the best coach in the world right now. So any knowledge he can impart to me will be more than welcome.

“It's a privilege to have him around contributing ideas.”

That Xavi is adopting similar methods to his former colleague should come as no surprise, because he has first-hand experience of their benefits.

The 133-cap Spanish international won 14 major trophies under the tutelage of Guardiola as part of a Barcelona side widely regarded as one of the best teams in the history of the game.

Pep has since added eight trophies to his collection at City, where he has been lauded for playing a brand of football previously unseen on these shores.


                        Xavi explains Guardiola's influence on coaching career

But success did not come without a challenge.

Guardiola’s first season in England ended trophyless, prompting people outside of the City Football Academy to question whether his approach could work in the Premier League.

For Xavi, it was inevitable his former manager would not only succeed, but do so in emphatic fashion.

“With Guardiola as manager, I had no doubt [City would dominate],” he adds.

“Admittedly, the first year was tough for him because you always have to adapt to the different style and standards, even a different culture or background.

“However, there was no question that Guardiola was going to be successful.

"I have said this many times before, and in many interviews: all he needed was time.”

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