New Barcelona head coach Xavi has insisted that he would prefer to be compared to Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane than Frank Lampard.
The 42-year-old became the latest in a long line of ex-players to return to their former employers last week as he was installed as Barcelona’s head coach following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.
He penned a deal until the summer of 2024 having left Qatari outfit Al Sadd to take the reins at the Nou Camp in an effort to get the Catalans’ stuttering season finally up and running.
In appointing Xavi, Barcelona retraced steps that they have taken before having previously put faith in Pep Guardiola following his playing career at the club.
Of course, the now Manchester City boss brought plenty of success to the club having lifted three La Liga titles, as well as two Champions Leagues, among a host of more silverware.
Guardiola appears to be the exception to the rule, however, with former players having largely struggled recently when moving into a managerial capacity - some examples being Frank Lampard at Chelsea, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Manchester United and also Andrea Pirlo with Juventus.
Xavi has suggested that he would sooner follow in the footsteps of Guardiola as opposed to the aforementioned three.
Talking at his Barcelona unveiling, he said: “Being compared to Guardiola is already a success, because of what he has given to football, to Barca, and because he is a reference for me.
"Guardiola is the best coach in the world. Any comparison now is bad for me, I understand the expectations and I know that I am in the best club and we have to demand ourselves and the rest. It is a success that they compare me with Guardiola and I will work so that successes are achieved."
The Spaniard continued, when probed about the list of ex-players managing the side they made their name at as a player: “I prefer to be in the Guardiola, Zidane group than the other one.”
Lampard was of course sacked by Chelsea in January after a poor run of form. He was eventually replaced by Thomas Tuchel who has since lifted the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and currently has the Blues sitting atop the Premier League.