News Live Scores
Barcelona

'Who doesn't like the Premier League?' - Xavi open to managerial role in England as Barcelona alternative

13:44 BST 23/09/2019
Xavi Al-Sadd 2019
The Spaniard has listed Manchester City, United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal as dream future destinations as his coaching career progresses

Barcelona legend Xavi has revealed that he would welcome the chance to manage in the Premier League, should a return to Camp Nou fail to materialise.

The 39-year-old hung up his boots back in May, after an illustrious playing career which saw him rack up over 700 appearances for Barca, winning 25 major trophies.

Xavi spent the last four years of his career with Qatar based club Al Sadd, before accepting a role as their permanent head coach earlier this summer.

The former Spain midfielder still has plenty to learn as a head coach, but he already has his sights set on the top job at Camp Nou.

"I don't hide it, my goal is to return to Europe and return to Barca, it is my challenge ahead, but I'm still learning in this project and I'm also enjoying it," Xavi told Sky Sports.

"My idea, which also happened to me as a footballer, is to be in Barcelona.

"Training this type of team would be a privilege and the greatest privilege for me would be to return to Barca.

"That is my goal."

Alternatively, the World Cup winner would be open to accepting a role in the Premier League, labelling the competition as "extraordinary".

"Who doesn't like the Premier League?" Xavi added. "The football atmosphere, the packed stadiums and the people who play in the Premier League say it's extraordinary.

"Obviously if I had to choose, I would choose a big team, [Manchester] City or United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham.

"Also, [Jurgen] Klopp and [Mauricio] Pochettino and Unai Emery, many people who have gone there are doing an extraordinary job."

The Barca legend reserved special praise for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, whom he played under for four trophy-laden years at Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012.

Xavi went on to admit that he uses his old manager as a "reference" point to help advance his own skills on the touchline.

"Pep Guardiola is the best coach in the world and I am a novice," he said. "The comparison happened as a player but now we can't be compared.

"I am in love with Pep Guardiola's football. Now I have started as a coach, I see the different methodologies.

"You can win playing football in different ways, but I like the one of City and Guardiola the most. I follow the Premier League a lot and I like it.

"Guardiola is a reference for me. As a player he already was, because we played in the same position, we spent three years together in Barcelona as players and then four magnificent years with him as a coach.

"He is a brilliant, demanding, passionate, obsessive person, that's why he's doing so well. It transmits a lot to the footballer. I learned a lot and enjoyed my time at his side."