The former Camp Nou legend Xavi found similarities between the current undefeated side of Manchester City and Barcelona. He also expressed that City’s coach Pep Guardiola added “Barcelona DNA” to the current Manchester City squad while the Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is playing the role of Lionel Messi. While De Bruyne is leading his side to a complete domination at the Etihad Stadium, Xavi believes that his value is now equal to the value of Lionel Messi in the Barcelona squad.
“Kevin De Bruyne is Manchester City’s Messi” – Xavi
While talking with The Mirror, Xavi said “Pep’s teams win as teams, but even the most special sides need that player to look to when they need something special,” and added “At Barcelona we had it with Messi and this team Manchester City have it with De Bruyne.” While praising the Belgian international he said “Every time he has the ball, you get the feeling that he is going to do something special with it” and then added “Not every game you can win 3-0 or 4-0, especially in the Champions League and that is when you need one moment of brilliance from a special player.” Xavi also expressed his view on Silva while saying “David Silva is playing the best football of his career. I can see just from watching him he is learning off Pep.”
Barca legend Xavi also praised Kevin De Bruyne while saying “He is not a young player anymore, but when you have a player of such intelligence and such vision, it does not matter.” He then compared the strategy of Pep for the current City squad and said “City are playing with The DNA of Barcelona, but that is no surprise. Pep has Barcelona DNA and transmits that to Manchester City.” While talking about the current performance of Man City he expressed “The football they are playing is mesmerising. They are the in-form team in Europe and as good as their players are, Pep has to take credit for the football they are playing and the form they are in” and then added “Pep teams do not just happen, these record runs do not just happen, treble-winning seasons do not just happen – they happen because Pep is obsessive about winning.”
He then described De Bruyne as “He is focused, he hates to lose and that becomes infectious with the players.” He talked about the change of performance while saying “Last season people were saying he had to adjust his style for the Premier League” and added “He refused and now people are saying Manchester City are playing the best football the Premier League has ever seen.” As per the relationship between Pep and Kevin is concerned, Xavi said “I knew he would not compromise on his beliefs. Many coaches have the same beliefs as Pep on how the game should be played, but only Pep can communicate it at the most pure level.”