Xavi 'can be Barcelona's Alex Ferguson' says presidential hopeful Victor Font as pressure on Koeman continues

XAVI can become Barcelona's Alex Ferguson with a glorious long reign, according to Nou Camp presidential frontrunner Victor Font.

Barca legend Xavi, now coach of Qatari side Al Sadd, is tipped to return next year, although initially he could work WITH current under-fire boss Ronald Koeman.

And Font wants Xavi to emulate Fergie's Manchester United dynasty rather than Pep Guardiola's much shorter Nou Camp stint.

Telecommunications entrepreneur Font, the favourite to succeed interim president Carles Tusquets in Barca's January elections, also hopes to keep star player Lionel Messi beyond the end of his contract next summer.

The 48-year-old told Reuters: “We decided some years ago the best person to help us build our organisation is Xavi.

I have told Xavi we cannot afford to have another case like Pep Guardiola.

“Ideally we can have Xavi as a general manager for many years like Alex Ferguson was at Manchester United.

"But if he needs to play a different role, he can be flexible. Few people have the leadership qualities he has."

And Font hopes Xavi will not do a Pep, who quit after three LaLiga titles and two Champions League successes in four years as manager.

He said: “I have told Xavi we cannot afford to have another case like Pep Guardiola.

“Pep coached the first team very successfully for a few years then he moved on and went to the competition (Bayern Munich and now Manchester City).
"We need to have Xavi in the club for the next 10 years.”

Meanwhile, Koeman has struggled since replacing sacked Quique Setien in August, with Barca seventh in the Spanish top flight.

But Font said of the Dutchman's future: “That’s a decision the sporting directors will have to make, but we’re thankful to Ronald for taking on this challenge at a difficult time.

"We’re happy to see him making bold decisions and empowering the young players who have potential.

“Xavi has a very long term perspective. He’s only 40, he was telling me the other day his professional career as a coach has many years ahead of him."

Xavi won 133 Spain caps, lifting the 2010 World Cup, as well as four Champions League triumphs and eight LaLiga crowns in 17 years as a Barcelona playmaker.

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