Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hails Barcelona for showing faith in Xavi

Arteta was also asked if he would consider managing in La Liga himself.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hailed Barcelona for appointing Xavi as their head coach back in November 2021.

Barca parted ways with then-manager Ronald Koeman and the club was struggling in the middle of the table. A top-four finish looked unlikely and they were on the verge of elimination from their Champions League group.

Xavi returned to Camp Nou from Al Sadd and managed to guide La Blaugrana to a second-place finish in La Liga. They went one better in 2022/23, winning their first league title since 2019.

In a wide-ranging interview with MARCA, Arteta said that bringing in a figure like the former midfielder was important for Barcelona to reach the top again, hailing his side as ‘very reliable’.

“Only knowing his character and what he feels about the game, it’s clear that Barça needed a figure like him,” Arteta said.

“He has been able to withstand the pressure and has been faithful to his ideas by always defending the club and the players. The team has been very reliable all year.”

When asked if he would consider managing in La Liga himself, Arteta replied: “Spain is my country. I have been away for many years and at some point it could be an option to return to La Liga and have other experiences. But now…”

Arteta also spoke glowingly of former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, who he worked under as an assistant at Manchester City and is now a rival of in the Premier League.

“He is the best at everything. Management; convincing the group of your idea; getting the best out of them; decision-making before and during the match. Pep is a genius,” Arteta continued.

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