Barcelona legend Xavi has left Liverpool off the list of Premier League giants he would like to manage, preferring rivals like Manchester United instead.
The Spanish World Cup winner, the Qatari coach of Al-Sadd after retiring as a player in 2019, ranked Pep Guardiola, president of Manchester City, as “the best coach in the world”.
Xavi, 41, dreams of managing old club Barcelona but praised the Premier League’s atmosphere, crowded stadiums and players as an exciting alternative.
The former midfielder told Sky Sports in 2019: “Obviously if I had to choose, I would choose a big team, City or United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham.
“Moreover, [Jurgen] Club and [Mauricio] Pochettino and Unai Emery, many of the people who have been there are doing an exceptional job.”
The 133 caps icon said of his former Nou Camp boss: “Pep Guardiola is the best coach in the world and I’m a junior.
“The comparison happened as a player but now it can’t be compared. I’m very fond of football, Pep Guardiola.
“You can win by playing football in different ways but I like the style of City and Guardiola more. I follow the Premier League a lot and I love it.
“He is an intelligent, demanding, emotional, obsessive person, which is why he does such a good job.
“He conveys a lot to the footballer. I learned a lot and enjoyed my time by his side.”
Xavi won four Champions League titles and eight La Liga titles with Barcelona.
He readily admits that the Spanish giants will be his first choice once he serves in his managerial apprenticeship.
He said: “I don’t hide it, my goal is to go back to Europe and go back to Barcelona.
“It’s my challenge for the future, but I’m still learning on this project and I’m enjoying it too.”
Xavi led Al Sadd to their second Qatar Stars League title in three seasons in 2020-21, but previously ruled out the opportunity to take charge of Barcelona, suggesting it was too early.
But having made his current team play tiki-taka soccer like his days in Spain, it might not be long until he returns to the Nou Camp…