Barcelona legend Xavi speaks on replacing under-fire Valverde and coaching Messi
Barcelona legend Xavi believes he is perfectly capable returning to manage his former club, piling the pressure on current boss Ernesto Valverde.
Barca have made their worst start to a campaign since 1994-95, standing eighth in the La Liga table after falling to a 2-0 defeat at leaders Granada.
Xavi has won his first three matches as manager of Al-Sadd in Qatar, reaching the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League.
His progress has prompted speculation he could become the next manager of the Catalan club, and the former midfielder has had his say on his current role and the malaise at Barca.
'I don't know if it will be a bridge to Barca,' Xavi told Spanish outlet Ara. 'The only thing that worries me now is doing well here, winning titles and making mistakes in some aspects to learn for the future.
'It wouldn't be a problem (to manage former team-mates). I know what Leo is like, and Luis (Suarez), Sergio Busquets, Jordi (Alba), (Gerard) Pique or Sergi (Roberto).
'I know how they train, their capacity for leadership, I can tell if they are sad or angry. I hope as a coach I could have three, five, eight or 10 players that I already knew and that I already had a good relationship with.
'(Messi) is a player who, if you convince him, he can even be a brilliant defender. He has physical and mental speed. He has everything. If you convince him to run, what will the others do? They will run twice as much.'
'The problem in the midfield is that nobody is doing any defensive work, so they suffer when they have to retreat,' Xavi said.
'The coach is very important, but without the players there is nothing to do.'
Barcelona have won two lost two and drawn one of their first five league games and were slightly fortunate to pick up a point in their opening Champions League game at Borussia Dortmund.
Valverde's men return to action when they host Villareal on Tuesday evening.
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