Pep Guardiola defends Xavi’s decision to leave Barcelona: “The pressure is different”

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has this afternoon provided his take on the decision of Barcelona counterpart Xavi to call time on his stint in the dugout in Catalunya.

The name of tactician Xavi has of course taken its place front and centre in the headlines across Europe over the course of the last 72 hours.

This comes after the one-time midfielder announced his intention to depart Barcelona upon the close of the campaign.

Citing the best interests of the club, Xavi explained:

“I want to announce that on June 30 I will no longer continue as the coach at Barça. I think the situation needs to change course, and as a culer, I cannot allow the current situation.”

Xavi’s statement has since been met with something of a mixed response, with many a Barcelona supporter having expressed their relief with the prospect of a more experienced manager taking his place on the club’s bench next season.

Others, though, have sympathised with the 44-year-old, of the opinion that he was in something of a ‘no win’ situation.

And one individual who appears to share such a take comes in the form of the aforementioned Pep Guardiola.

Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday, Manchester City boss Guardiola was unsurprisingly questioned on the news of his former teammate’s incoming Barca exit.

And the Spaniard – a former Blaugrana head coach himself – was quick to defend Xavi, adamant that the ‘pressure’ on the Barcelona touchline is unlike that at any other club:

“From my experience, we cannot compare the pressure in England to that in Spain. The pressure you feel in Barcelona is not compared to that of any other club. I sympathize with Xavi, completely. Here I have everything a coach dreams of. The board has always supported me, the players, a good atmosphere…”

Conor Laird | GSFN

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