Pep Guardiola was always going to reward Manchester City’s patience, says Xavi, with the Catalan coach “one of the best in the world”.
City were crowned Premier League champions without kicking a ball on Sunday, with Manchester United’s shock defeat to West Brom confirming the inevitable.
Guardiola has now landed two pieces of silverware in 2017-18, with his initial struggles in English football – which saw him finish a debut campaign empty-handed – being countered by the establishing of domestic dominance.
Xavi, who enjoyed considerable success under the City boss at Camp Nou, told the Daily Mail on his latest accolades: “It’s a huge achievement for him. There is so much competition in England. There are so many teams that can win the league.
“I did an interview a year ago when they were criticising him a lot. And I said then that he just needed time. If they were patient with him then he would end up succeeding.
“Managers get constantly judged and criticised and he is, if not the best, then one of the best two or three in the world, so the pressure is huge. But he has made City champions and he’s done it in a spectacular way.”
Guardiola has lifted City to the summit by sticking to his footballing philosophy and bringing the best out of those at his disposal.
Xavi is delighted to see a system he bought into at Barca being rewarded once again, with it important for him to see success achieved in the right manner.
The World Cup winner added: “I respect the other ways of playing and seeing the game but this is the way I’ve most enjoyed playing football and now that I watch more football than ever this is the football that I most enjoy watching.
“I watch City and it’s a pleasure to see them play.”
It may be that Xavi one day gets to join the City fold himself, with a veteran performer preparing for a move into coaching at the age of 38 refusing to close any doors.Pressed on whether he could work alongside Guardiola in the future, the legendary midfielder said: “Why not? Whenever I have worked with him it’s been like a football Master’s for me.”