Barcelona legend Xavi has spoken out about his former manager Louis van Gaal and his unconventional style of running things, something that he appreciates.
Van Gaal has been criticized for his no nonsense way of doing things as it has the potential to rub players the wrong way. Van Gaal confirmed reports that he had players come to him and speak about the mood in the Manchester United dressing room.
Xavi, 35, played for van Gaal during the Dutchman’s two stints in charge of Barcelona (1997-2000, 2002-2003).
“I will remember him all my life, but for better not worse,” Xavi told Marca about his old boss at Barcelona. “He was very direct.
“One day he would bury you and humiliate you in front of the group and the next day he would tell me I was Zidane. That is the way he is and in time it has a positive effect.
“Under him I went from playing at Old Trafford to going to play at [third division] Alcoyano when he dropped me back down to Barca B. That is something that has been lost. Now if you are in the first team it’s is taken for granted that you will not go back down [to the reserves].
“That’s wrong. A kid of 18 years old has to, above all, play. That way when you get back in the first team you are more hungry than ever to take your chance.”
Xavi, who now plays for Qatari club Al Sadd SC, was also asked about Valdes and van Gaal falling out at Manchester United.
“I don’t know what happened. Van Gaal helped Victor go to United but something happened between the two of them. They are both very strong characters.”