Barcelona legend Xavi Hernández has praised Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who he claims are “playing with the DNA of Barcelona”.
Under Guardiola’s management, Xavi won two Champions League titles and three successive La Liga titles in just four years, and he says that the Catalan is using the same successful formula at the Etihad.
City are steamrolling the Premier League this season, sitting top with a 15 point gap between them and second place Manchester United. Guardiola’s side have only dropped points once this season, and are currently on an 18-point winning streak, and Xavi is not surprised by how well they are doing.
The 37-year old midfielder, now with Qatari club Al Sadd, claims the key to Guardiola’s success is his hatred for losing. He said;
City are playing with The DNA of Barcelona, but that is no surprise. Pep has Barcelona DNA and transmits that to Manchester City.
The football they are playing is mesmerising. They are the in-form team in Europe and as good as their players are, Pep has to take credit for the football they are playing and the form they are in.
Pep teams do not just happen, these record runs do not just happen, treble-winning seasons do not just happen – they happen because Pep is obsessive about winning.
He is focused, he hates to lose and that becomes infectious with the players.
Xavi also claims that Guardiola has silenced the critics from last season who, after going the season without winning a title for the first time in his career, doubted his pedigree. Xavi continued;
Last season people were saying he had to adjust his style for the Premier League.
He refused and now people are saying Manchester City are playing the best football the Premier League has ever seen.
I knew he would not compromise on his beliefs. Many coaches have the same beliefs Pep has on how the game should be played, but only Pep can communicate it at the most pure level.
The one-time World Cup winner and two-time European Championship winner also hailed Kevin De Bruyne, who he labelled Manchester City’s Lionel Messi.
Pep’s teams win as teams, but even the most special sides need that player to look to when they need something special.
At Barcelona we had it with Messi and this team Manchester City have it with De Bruyne. Every time he has the ball, you get the feeling that he is going to do something special with it.
Not every game you can win 3-0 or 4-0, especially in the Champions League and that is when you need one moment of brilliance from a special player.
David Silva is playing the best football of his career. I can see just from watching him he is learning off Pep. He is not a young player anymore, but when you have a player of such intelligence and such vision, it does not matter.