Xavi confident Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will stay
Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez is confident Pep Guardiola will continue as coach beyond this summer despite renewed uncertainty about his future.
Guardiola’s decision to continually sign one-year contracts means yet again there is slight unease around Catalonia he may elect to leave the club.
The former Spain and Barca midfielder has never hidden his desire to one day manage in England and with Andre Villas-Boas’ position at Chelsea on rocky ground and Arsene Wenger representing a forlorn figure at Arsenal, an opportunity could arise in the near future.
Xavi however remains sure his manager and mentor will elect to stay at least another season at the Nou Camp and add to the 13 titles he has already won.
“We all want him to stay,” the midfielder said. “He is the key piece in the success we have had and the 13 titles we have won over the last few years.
“But I see him every day: he is hugely motivated and he lived the game on Sunday against Valencia with great intensity. I think he will stay.”
When Guardiola does decide to move on, Xavi is one individual who has been mooted to succeed the 41-year-old.
Both have been brought through the Barcelona system as players while similarities have also been drawn in terms of their personalities, with both deep thinkers of the game.
Xavi is also seen as Guardiola’s eyes and ears on the field.
The Spanish World Cup winner however insists thoughts of a coaching career are at the back of the 32-year-old’s mind.
“Leave me alone, let me play. I’m not thinking about anything else but playing football. And besides, I don’t even have a coaching diploma,” he added.
Xavi has also lamented the fact Barca’s chances of a fourth successive title are looking dimmer by the day as they lie 10 points adrift of leaders Real Madrid in La Liga.
Barca have failed to win seven away fixtures, a weakness not shown in previous seasons.
The midfielder acknowledged that “unconsciously” Barca had “perhaps taken their foot off the pedal” slightly. “We’re always competitive but unconsciously the team may not have realised it and slackened off,” he said.
“This ten-point difference comes down to details. At key moments when it was double or quits luck wasn’t on our side.”