Liverpool legend and Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has hailed Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez, calling his appointment a ‘masterstroke’.
Speaking to the official channels of FC Barcelona (h/t Express), Aston Villa head coach and former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard called the Catalans’ appointment of Xavi Hernandez as manager a ‘masterstroke’.
Xavi was brought back to Barcelona in a managerial capacity earlier this season. The 42-year-old took over the reins after Ronald Koeman was sacked and has done a fine job since. Under the former midfielder, the Blaugrana have moved up to third place in the La Liga standings and have made it through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.
Xavi has re-instilled Barcelona’s old style of play in his team, and things are looking up for the Catalan heavyweights under the 2010 FIFA World Cup winner. And Gerrard, who admitted to being a Barcelona fan, has hailed Xavi’s appointment, referring to the improvement that the team have shown under his tutelage.
“I think with the appointment of Xavi, I think it was a masterstroke by Barcelona to appoint him. Someone who has got Barcelona in his DNA, someone who has been a world-class player for many years.”
Steven Gerrard: Barça’s appointment of Xavi as manager a “masterstroke.” pic.twitter.com/gu1iDc6FIt
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“He obviously knows the style that all the Barcelona people want to see and after some challenging times, it looks as if they’re getting back to where they need to be. They got a huge result against Real Madrid and as a Barcelona fan from afar, it’s really good to see them back firing well,” Gerrard said.
The Liverpool icon, who has been touted to take over at Anfield some time in the future, added that he would take inspiration from what Xavi is doing at Barcelona.
“Well listen, as a coach in my position you are always trying to learn off everyone you can. There’s a lot of media around Xavi because obviously, he was a world-class player. He’s somebody who I’ve got the utmost respect for as a player and I’m obviously watching him as a coach as well,” Gerrard added.
“He’s on a similar journey to myself, very young, very new, he’s obviously learning a lot every day like myself. I’d like to give him a personal good luck message and I’d like to see him be a success and be at Barcelona for many years.”
Whether Gerrard emulates Xavi by becoming the Liverpool manager seems to be a matter of when than if, although it remains to be seen if his current stint with Aston Villa continues for some time.