Lionel Messi reveals his favourite manager to replace Ronald Koeman

Lionel Messi wanted Xavi to return to Barcelona in the summer
Lionel Messi wanted Xavi to return to Barcelona in the summer (NurPhoto via Getty)

Lionel Messi has already endorsed Barcelona’s push to make Xavi their new manager following the departure of Ronald Koeman, according to reports.

Koeman was sacked by Barcelona on Wednesday evening following the team’s poor start to the season.

Barca have recorded just four wins from 10 games in La Liga this term, while in the Champions League group stage they have been beaten by Bayern Munich and Benfica.

The 1-0 defeat away to Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday evening sealed Koeman’s fate and Barca are now looking to quickly secure a permanent replacement.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is intent on appointing Xavi as the club’s new manager and has already begun negotiations with their former captain.

The report also claims that Messi, who played alongside Xavi for 11 seasons at Camp Nou, also wanted his former teammate to replace Koeman before he ended up leaving Barca in August.

Lionel Messi and Xavi were a key part of Barcelona's success
Lionel Messi and Xavi were a key part of Barcelona’s success in the last decade (Getty)

Xavi is currently managing Al-Sadd and is yet to reach an agreement with the Saudi club which would allow him to return to Barcelona.

In an interview with 20 Minutos last week, Xavi made no secret of his desire to manage Barcelona.

‘My ideal is to coach Barca, that is my goal and my dream and I have never hidden it,’ he said.

‘I don’t know if it will happen or not, if they will need me or not, but at the moment I am happy to be in Al-Sadd and very proud of it.’

According to RAC1, Xavi is Barcelona’s first-choice option but there could be a difficulty in appointing the 41-year-old immediately.

Sergi Barjuan, who is the current head coach of Barca B, is being considered as an interim replacement following Koeman’s exit.

Meanwhile, former Barcelona forward Rivaldo also issued his support for the return of Xavi.

‘After the departure of Koeman, I would very much like Xavi to have this opportunity to be the new coach of Barcelona,’ the Brazilian posted on Instagram.

‘I have a lot of confidence in him to get the Club out of this situation.’


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