Xavi adamant on where he sits with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola comparisons
Barcelona boss Xavi did not hold back as he was quizzed on the dangers of becoming manager of the club where he made his name, just as many others have in recent years
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on the receiving end of a backhanded put-down by Xavi as the Spaniard was unveiled as the new Barcelona manager.
The former midfielder has a huge task on his hands to rescue a Barca side sitting ninth in La Liga after a torrid start to the season.
Xavi has signed a two-and-a-half year contract and he will hope to lead the Blaugrana to the vast success he enjoyed as a player in Catalonia.
The 41-year-old won 15 major honours including four Champions League titles during his 17 seasons with the club.
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However, recent appointments across Europe have shown that a successful playing career is no guarantee of a seamless transition into management.
United, meanwhile, are facing growing calls to sack Solskjaer due to the club’s poor run of four defeats in six Premier League games, despite the Norwegian being a fan favourite at Old Trafford from his playing days.
Xavi was unveiled as Barcelona boss on Monday and he was quizzed on the dangers of taking charge of the club where he is already adored.
“I prefer to be in the [Pep] Guardiola, [Zinedine] Zidane group than the other one,” he responded in a veiled dig at the likes of Solskjaer, Lampard and Pirlo.
Guardiola and Zidane are two of the great success stories where individuals have led the club where they made their name as a player to the very top.
Manchester City boss Guardiola kicked-off his managerial career with an astonishing four-year stint with Barcelona.
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Three-and-a-half years after the Spaniard left Barca, Zidane made the step up from Real Madrid Castilla, the reserve team, to take charge of the senior side.
The Frenchman would go on to win three consecutive Champions League titles and two La Liga winners’ medals across two spells at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Xavi, meanwhile, spent two years as Al Sadd manager after playing out the final four seasons of his playing career with the Qatari club.
He faces a monumental challenge to restore Barcelona to the glory days of old, but he has already received words of encouragement from Guardiola.