Sarri sets his team to play well, but not always, Xavi
Pep Guardiola is the number one, but other coaches like Sarri play well as well
According to the former Barcelona midfielder, who listed the Chelsea coach amongst the few coaches that set their teams to play well, playing well only means “having the ball.”
Xavi Hernadez has said he was a fan of Maurizio Sarri’s style of play, though admitted that not all the time the Argentine sets his team to play well.
Discussing his football philosophy in an exclusive interview with Marca, Xavi said though playing well might have diverged opinions, for him he did suffer without the ball.
The 2010 World Cup winner said: “I don’t have the absolute truth, I only defend one style. Playing well, for me, is having the ball.
“When I go to the pitch, I don’t want my rival to teach me a lesson. I suffer if I don’t have the ball. Playing well is linking 20 or 30 passes to find spaces or a free man.
“For another coach, playing well is to be tight, to deny spaces and go on the counter-attack. Everything is respectable in football.
“Guardiola, who is the number one for this. He’s my reference as a coach.
“[Maurizio] Sarri’s Chelsea play well, even if not always. I like to see them for their assertiveness on the ball.
“Also Betis, [Unai] Emery’s Arsenal, Barcelona, Luis Enrique’s Spain and [Mauricio] Pochettino’s Tottenham.”
The Al Sadd midfielder, further went on to shower praises on his former boss Pep Guardiola, who coached him from 2008 to 2012 – saying the Manchester City coach does make an exceptional footballer out of an average player.
He added, “That players who never stood out before do so with Pep.
“Fernandinho, for example, now sees good passes.
“The defenders, [Nicolas] Otamendi, [John] Stones, [Aymeric] Laporte. You see them and say, ‘you can tell that Pep has given them tools for their development’.”