Barcelona legend wants former Real Madrid coach to replace Xavi


(FILES) This file picture dated February 21, 2011  shows former French football player Zinedine Zidane smiling next to Real Madrid's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho (L) during a press conference on the eve of UEFA Champions league football match Lyon versus Real Madrid on at the Gerland stadium in Lyon.  Zidane annnced on July 7, 2011 that he has been named as Real Madrid's new sporting director for next season.

After the elimination of FC Barcelona from the UEFA Champions League with the defeat to Paris Saint Germain in the quarterfinal stage, the hopes of Xavi Hernandez’s continuation at the club have significantly deteriorated.

While the Barcelona head coach has already decided that he will leave the club at the end of the season, there were hopes arising with the team’s good form some weeks ago that he can change his mind and decide to stay.

However, now with the team looking increasingly likely to end the season without any silverware, the Catalans will have to look for Xavi’s replacement this summer. For this purpose, various candidates have been linked with the club in the last few weeks, but the current Barcelona Atletic coach is the favorite for this position as things stand.

Still, nothing is finalized as yet, and as Mundo Deportivo has reported, one of the legendary Barcelona forwards, Rivaldo, believes the ideal coach for the club, Pep Guardiola, is not likely to return to the club at this point in time:

“I don’t see Guardiola coming, at least not now. I think the only realistic opportunity would be when he wants to return and enjoy more family life, which is easier for him in Barcelona, and at the same time, he can coach the team. He is doing well in England, and I think his return will also depend on the club’s financial situation.”

In such a context, the Brazilian named one of the most hated and controversial figures in the Barcelona fanbase as the best option to replace Xavi:

“There are many fans who don’t tolerate players or coaches who played for or managed the rival team (referring to Real Madrid), but José Mourinho already worked at Barcelona and is a great person. His intensity and controversies with his own fans could be a concern from the beginning, but he is a winner.”

“Considering he doesn’t have a club and the situation at Barcelona, in my opinion, right now it’s easier for him to join the team than for Guardiola, and I think it would be a great signing, even if some fans don’t want to hear his name.”

“He would undoubtedly do a great job, knowing the team, the Spanish league, the Champions League, and having a lot of experience.”

While he has backed his choice with some interesting justifications, Rivaldo’s choice for Xavi’s successor is not going to be taken well by most of the Barcelona fans, who well remember the time when Mourinho was a coach at Real Madrid, and who never let an opportunity pass to humiliate the Catalan club.

Furthermore, the Portuguese also seems to be well beyond his prime years now, as none of his last few stints in clubs across England and Italy can be considered successful. Still, he has a very decorated trophy cabinet to boast of, and his experience alone can make him a better-suited candidate for any top European club than most other names.

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