Guardiola and Xavi, teacher against disciple

Pep Guardiola and Xavi Hernandez. / Agencies


The two coaches meet for the first time at the helm of Barça and Manchester City in a match organized with the aim of raising funds to help the investigation against ALS

Barcelona and Manchester City meet this Wednesday at the Camp Nou and they do it for a good cause, to raise funds against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The friendly match, promoted by Juan Carlos Unzué, will also serve to measure Xavi Hernández for the first time against Pep Guardiola. A clash of master against disciple in which a battle of the style will be seen.

“I don’t want to beat Pep Guardiola or Johan Cruyff or anyone. I have nurtured myself from both and they are not enemies at all, nothing to do with it, I am their student. My objective is to try to return Barça to the top of the world, not for me to win. I don’t have such a big ego », assured Xavi Hernández a couple of weeks ago when he was asked about his expectations for this season and the possibility of surpassing the successes of his predecessors on the Barça bench. His response, curt, denotes the pressure to find the new leader on the bench in Barcelona, ​​the substitute who will take over the style to the new generations.

And it is that this expectation has always been in the Camp Nou since Pep Guardiola decided to leave Barça in that distant 2012. The one from Santpedor left to take a sabbatical year, but he did it with three Leagues, two Copas del Rey, three Super Cups of Spain, two Champions, two European Super Cups and two Club World Cups in just four years. That bar, that of taking the Catalans back to the top, was always there for anyone who decided to take the throne and it has been accentuated with a Xavi who experienced all those successes being the central piece around which the entire game of the ‘Pep Team’ winner of the sextet.

Xavi was as a player for Guardiola what Pep was for Cruyff, the compass. For this reason, and because of the style that Tarrasa’s now intends to carry out, the comparison between the two is inevitable. “I am a student of theirs,” says Xavi. And he is not without reason, because many of the dynamics that Barça intends to carry out in the new project are inherited from previous stages. The 3-4-3 with long lanes, the position of Busquets between central defenders when coming out from behind with the ball played, the pressure after loss or the position play are part of the culé DNA and now the Tarrasa coach is the that plants that seed so that future generations continue to implement that model.

pulse for style

This Wednesday at the Camp Nou will not see a clash of styles, but a confrontation of style. Barça will have one more litmus test to assess where the new project is at. And he will have it in front of a mirror, a rival who knows perfectly each and every one of the qualities of the culé model. “They think of football in the same way, they both played in the 6 position and worked together,” Lewandowski said in his presentation as a Blaugrana when asked by both coaches. For this reason, the key will lie in submitting the rival, forcing him to betray himself and that he has to give up possession, that asset so precious to both coaches.

For this, Xavi will be able to count on all his troops, including Jules Koundé, who has not yet been able to be registered in LaLiga. The French soccer player could be the great novelty in an eleven in which there will be rotations, but in which all the players will have minutes throughout the match to satisfy the more than 60,000 attendees expected at the Camp Nou. The duel will also be an opportunity for Pjanic, Piqué and Memphis Depay, three footballers that Xavi still has until the end of the transfer market, but who have not yet had the opportunity to debut in the two league games that have been played .

It will not be an easy duel. Manchester City lands at the Camp Nou and will do so with “Bernardo Silva and ten more”, as Guardiola acknowledged. The Portuguese attacker will be the main claim after a summer in which his name has not stopped being linked to Barça and in which in the end everything indicates that he will continue as ‘sky blue’. Next to him will be first swords like Rodri, Grealish, Mahrez or Rúben Dias in a commitment that will have ALS and Unzué, who was diagnosed with the disease more than two years ago, as great protagonists.

Likely lineups

  • Barcelona:
    Iñaki Peña, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Kound, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Pjanic, Kessie, Ferran Torres, Lewandowski and Raphinha.

  • Manchester City:
    Ortega, Walker, Ake, Rúben Dias, Wilson, Philips, Rodri, Palmer, Mahrez, Grealish, and Julián Álvarez.

  • Hour:
    21:30 h.

  • Estadio:
    Camp Nou

  • TV:



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