Former Barcelona star Xavi has hailed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal’s direct approach and has nothing but fond memories of the Dutchman.
Xavi worked with Van Gaal at Barcelona during two periods between 1997 and 2003 and he feels the United boss’ approach has benefited him throughout his career.
“I will always remember Van Gaal and for the right reasons. He was a very direct guy,” Xavi was quoted as saying by Marca.
“One day he would humiliate you in front of the entire team and the following day he would make you feel like [Zinedine] Zidane. He was like that. And it was a good thing in the long term.
“With him, you could play at Old Trafford one day, only to then take on Alcoyano with Barcelona B a few days later. You don’t see stuff like that any more these days.
“When youngsters make the first team nowadays, they think they are there. When you are 18 you should only think about playing games. That should be the most important. And when you get to the first team again, you will give your all to show what you can do.”
Xavi then went on to discuss Van Gaal’s difficult relationship with Victor Valdes at United and his stance on David de Gea after the latter’s move to Real Madrid fell through.
“I don’t know what has happened with Victor. Van Gaal gave him a hand when he brought him in at United, but then something happened. They are both very strong personalities,” Xavi continued.
“As for De Gea, I am convinced that he did not pull any tricks with him. Van Gaal is very direct and sincere. I like people like him. He is a reliable guy, although that does not mean he is flawless.”