FC Barcelona Coach Speaks On Contract Renewal And Compares Lewandowski To Messi Ahead Of Athletic Bilbao Clash

FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has spoken on a potential contract renewal ahead of Sunday’s La Liga clash with Athletic Club in Bilbao, but does not see himself putting together a Sir Alex Ferguson-like dynasty in the Camp Nou hotseat.

During his pre-match press conference on Saturday, Xavi was reminded that the contract he signed when replacing Ronald Koeman in November 2021 expires next year.

President Joan Laporta recently revealed he is considering fresh terms for the legendary midfield icon, but Xavi laughed when a reporter asked him if he planned to oversee Barca for something like the 27 years Ferguson managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013.

“I see that as difficult,” Xavi confessed. “This is my home and I want to stay here, even if sometimes it’s ungrateful.

“The president is happy with the work the staff is doing. He handles things face-to-face and [he is] loyal. Hopefully it will be [a reign like that of] Ferguson, but it will depend on the results and it is not the time to talk about a renewal. We have one more year on our contract, it matters to win titles,” Xavi added.

When probed on what he thought about star striker Robert Lewandowski’s comments earlier this week, which saw him suggest that Barca needs to adapt to modern football, Xavi revealed that he shares the Pole’s ideas.

“Football has changed a lot. I compare Robert to Ronaldinho or [Lionel] Messi. He has changed the dynamics of the team. He talks to me a lot,” Xavi explained.

“Ten years ago football wasn’t as fast or as physical, it was slower and more controllable. [Now] almost all the teams press you from the start and are more vertical. However, that doesn’t change our thinking. The coaches have changed a lot at the tactical level and we have to adapt.”

Following his recovery from a thigh knock, Lewandowski is expected to start for Barca in San Mames in what will be their last game before a March 19 installment of El Clasico against Real Madrid that could decide the title race.

Barca are nine points clear of their bitter rivals as things stand, and will hope that cross-town enemies Espanyol do them a favor by upsetting Los Blancos on Saturday.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomsanderson/2023/03/11/fc-barcelona-coach-speaks-on-contract-renewal-and-compares-lewandowski-to-messi-ahead-of-athletic-bilbao-clash/