Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has made a bold call over who he thinks will lay their hands on the UEFA Champions League trophy this season.
The Barcelona head coach was highly spirited, in view of their midweek La Liga game against Osasuna, as Barcelona move closer to their first La Liga title since 2019 when they last won it under Ernesto Valverde.
Osasuna’s visit to the Camp Nou comes just days before their Copa del Rey final battle against Real Madrid.
Ahead of Osasuna’s league game against Barca and Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid, Xavi cheekily expressed that he would be supporting Jagoba Arrasate’s underdogs in the final.
The Spaniard was also quizzed about the incoming Champions League last four, with Los Blancos playing his old tutor Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.
Manchester City are eyeing a possible treble of major titles this campaign, a feat that has never been achieved in English football since Manchester United’s iconic success in the year 1999.
Xavi Hernandez thinks history is calling on Manchester City to lift the UEFA Champions League crown.
Based on reports from Marca, the Barcelona manager said:
“For me, it’s fair for City to win the treble. They are the best team in the world, with the best coach. For us, City is a mirror.”
Manchester City visit the Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg on the 9th of May before welcoming the 14-time-champions to Manchester eight days later.
Xavi and Pep Guardiola are yet to face themselves in a competitive encounter so far as managers in their career but they have got good admiration for each other.
Based on reports from Diario AS, The former Al Sadd manager said in April: “For me, Guardiola is the best in the world, he’s brilliant.
“From the beginning. He’s the No.1.
“In training, he captivates you, I don’t want to compare myself, I have only just started.
“Hopefully, I can reach his level of success, but not for me, for the club.”
Xavi Hernandez and Pep Guardiola lifted the 1998/99 La Liga title as teammates, as Xavi broke into the Barcelona senior team, and the current Manchester City manager came towards the twilight of his playing career.
However, they relished amazing success together as manager and player, winning three La Liga titles in addition to two Champions Leagues, in a commanding period, from 2008 till 2012.
Pep Guardiola also insisted Xavi should feel no additional pressure when he was appointed as Barcelona manager in 2021.
Guardiola said at a charity golf tournament: “I wasn’t the heir to anybody and Xavi doesn’t have to be my heir.”
“If Barcelona president Joan Laporta and the board have chosen Xavi then it’s because there are millions of pros and few cons.
“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.”