Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has come out to dismiss speculations that new Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has to follow in his footsteps and reach the heights that he did while at Camp Nou.
'Xavi is not my heir' - Guardiola on new Barcelona coach
Pep Guardiola had a successful tenure at Barcelona but insists that Xavi does not have to follow in his footsteps
The Manchester City boss reiterated that Xavi's appointment must have been well thought-out by the club's president and the board, and believes the World Cup-winning midfielder is his own man.
"I wasn’t the heir to anybody and Xavi doesn’t have to be my heir," Guardiola said at a charity golf tournament.
"If [Barcelona president] Joan Laporta and the board have chosen Xavi then it’s because there are millions of pros and few cons," he concluded.
The speculations concerning Xavi replicating Guardiola's feats at the Catalan club were spawned out of the many similarities between both managers. The 41-year-old Xavi has taken up the role of Barcelona head coach after just two years in management with Qatari club, Al Sadd. This is a point of similarity with Guardiola, who had coached Barcelona's Team B for just two years before he was appointed as Barcelona's head coach in 2008.
Guardiola backs Xavi to succeed at Barcelona
The Manchester City manager also praised Xavi's dedication and love for football, stating that the former Al Sadd coach knows FC Barcelona well and will improve the club's 'situation.'
Guardiola said: "He knows the club and will bring positive energy, given how he enjoys football and because of his dedication. He always sees the positive side of things. With his class, dedication and effort, I’m sure he’ll improve the club’s situation."
Xavi will have his work cut out for him as he hopes to revive a club that went trophyless last season under former manager, Ronald Koeman. The Blaugrana are not better off this season either, sitting in the ninth position on the La Liga table, with just four victories from twelve league games so far.