LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Barcelona manager, Xavi Hernandez, has acknowledged that the continuous comparisons to Pep Guardiola are depressing him at Camp Nou.
Xavi has had a strong first full season in charge of Barcelona, leading the team to their first La Liga championship since 2019.
With Barca securing eleven 1-0 victories and 26 clean sheets, the joint-best defensive record in the history of the competition, he has drawn criticism for his pragmatic style of play.
Xavi played for Guardiola’s famed Blaugrana team from 2008 to 2012, which was based on the ‘tiki-taka’ philosophy and achieved unheard-of success.
“The figure of Guardiola is weighing me down as a coach,” Xavi said in an interview with Catalan outlet TV3. “I don’t think it’s fair [to constantly make the comparison]. It happened to me when I was a player as well. Everyone has to turn the page.”
Despite a perceived lack of appreciation for his efforts so far in the Camp Nou dugout, Xavi is ready to commit to a contract extension that will see him remain at Barca through to 2026.
Pressed on whether negotiations with the club are progressing well, Xavi replied: “Yes. We will come to an understanding sooner rather than later.
“I know the club will make as much of an effort as they can and there won’t be any problems. I’ll end up renewing and hopefully I can continue here for many years.”
After winning the Primera Division title for 2022–23, Barca will go to Celta Vigo on Sunday in an effort to round off their season well.