Barcelona forward Ansu Fati is at least on a par with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe, according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas. 

Fati has enjoyed an impressive rise from Barca academy product to first-team star over the past two years, despite having to contend with a number of injury setbacks. 

Among a host of other records set since his debut in August 2019, Fati can lay claim to being Barca's youngest goalscorer and the youngest scorer in Champions League history.  

Mbappe is also no stranger to breaking records, not least becoming the youngest player in history to reach the 100-goal mark in Ligue 1 at 22 years and 91 days old in March.  

The World Cup winner is further along in his development than Fati, having made his senior breakthrough with Monaco in December 2015 before joining PSG two years later. 

While Mbappe is widely heralded as one of the most coveted players in world football, Tebas argues he is no better than Barca youngster Fati. 

"We always like to give a lot of value to what we have outside of Spain," Tebas told El Partidazo de Cope.  

"We have Ansu Fati, who unfortunately has had injuries, but over time he has shown that he is equal to or better than Mbappe." 

Fati, who inherited Lionel Messi's number 10 shirt at Camp Nou in September and recently signed a new long-term deal, has scored 17 goals in 51 appearances for Barca in all competitions. 

Over the same period, Mbappe has found the net 77 times in 97 games for PSG, netting at a rate of one goal every 98 minutes. Fati gets one every 138 minutes. 

Mbappe has also outperformed Fati in terms of assists, setting up his PSG team-mates 33 times compared to three for the Spain international. 

When comparing the players over the same point in their career, Mbappe also has the edge. 

Across his first 51 appearances for Monaco, which like Fati was made up of 27 starts and the rest from the substitutes' bench, Mbappe scored 24 times at a rate of one every 108 minutes and assisted 10 more. 

That includes a big-chance conversion return of 71 per cent at that stage in his career – which has since dropped to 48 – compared to 29 for Fati. 

Dani Alves claims he knew in his heart and soul that he would return to Barcelona at some point in his career. 

The club announced the free signing of the 38-year-old on Friday following his departure from Sao Paulo, with the veteran right-back under contract for the rest of the campaign. 

Alves, who left Camp Nou five and a half years ago, will not be eligible to play until January but took to Instagram to declare his excitement at being back at "the best club in the world." 

The Brazilian international posted: "Almost five years of struggling like a madman to get to this point. I didn't know it would last this long, I didn't know it would be this hard, but I knew in my heart and inside my soul that this day would come. 

"I'm coming home from where I never left, and as I said before I left; I am one of you, I don't know how long that dream will last, but may it be eternal while it lasts." 

Along with a picture of himself kissing the club badge next to the pitch at Camp Nou, Alves added that he has "the same hope as the first time and with the same desire to help rebuild the best club in the world. I’m going back to my house." 

He becomes the first signing under fellow club legend Xavi, who recently replaced Ronald Koeman as Barca's permanent head coach. 

Alves made 247 appearances for the Catalan giants after signing from Sevilla in 2008, winning six La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns during a hugely successful period. 

Raheem Sterling's future at Manchester City remains unclear.

The England winger has only made three Premier League starts this season.

Sterling, who starred during England's run to the Euro 2020 final, could now be on the move.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA RESOLUTE ON RAHEEM

Barcelona are determined to sign Raheem Sterling from Manchester City despite the Premier League club's refusal to let him leave, reports Manchester Evening News.

The Catalans want to bring Sterling to Camp Nou in January on a loan deal, with the forward open to a move after losing his regular starting spot at City.

Sterling still has 18 months remaining on his City contract and the English champions have no intention of accepting an offer for him.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester City are set to launch a new bid for Tottenham forward Harry Kane in January, claims ESPN. City pursued Kane over the off-season but the Spurs skipper ultimately remained in London after Tottenham declined their approaches.

- El Nacional reports Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has told the club to sell or release Gareth Bale. The Wales forward has only made three appearances this term and is contracted to Los Blancos only until the end of the season.

Hakim Ziyech is unhappy at Chelsea and could be lured to Borussia Dortmund, claims The Mirror. The Morocco winger could move in January, having been unable to re-discover his best form at Chelsea after moving from Ajax in 2020.

Norwich City are set to offer ex-Aston Villa boss Dean Smith their vacant manager role, according to Sky Sports. Smith was sacked as Villa coach this week.

- The Daily Record claims former Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst will hold talks with Rangers about taking over as manager after Steven Gerrard's departure for Villa.

Barcelona have reached an agreement to re-sign Dani Alves on a free transfer following his departure from Sao Paulo.

The Brazil international returns to Camp Nou five and a half years after his previous eight-season stint with the Catalan giants came to an end, though he will not be eligible to play until January.

Alves won 23 trophies during his first spell with Barcelona before spending a season with Juventus, two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain and the last two years with Sao Paulo.

He was in attendance for Barca's 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev on November 2 and the LaLiga side confirmed on Friday that the 38-year-old is returning to the club as a free agent.

Two months after leaving Sao Paulo over a contractual dispute, Alves has put pen to paper on a deal with Barca that will run through until the end of the season.

 

Alves' return comes a week after club legend Xavi was appointed as Barcelona's new head coach, with his former team-mate reportedly playing a big part in the shock transfer.

The veteran defender made 247 appearances for Barca after joining from Sevilla in 2008, helping the club to six La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns during a hugely successful period.

He played his part in 95 clean sheets, had 78 goal involvements (64 assists, 14 goals) and created 377 chances – the latter total across the eight-year period beaten by only five players, two of whom were Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Bahia academy product captained Brazil to Tokyo Olympics gold in August, which he rated as his greatest achievement in a career that has seen him win 42 trophies in total at senior level for club and country.

Alves recently stated his desire to join a big-name club in order to regain his place in the Brazil squad, with the most recent of his 119 caps coming in September's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win against Peru.

Sergio Aguero is "staying positive" as the Barcelona striker waits to discover if he will be forced to retire due to a heart problem.

Reports from Catalonia emerged on Friday suggesting Aguero may have to bring an early end to his playing career because of an irregular heartbeat.

The Argentina international first experienced chest pain in Barca's draw with Alaves on October 30, which the club later confirmed was down to a heart arrhythmia.

After undergoing tests, Aguero – who has started just two games for the LaLiga giants since arriving on a free transfer from Manchester City – was ruled out for three months.

Catalunya Radio reported the problem is worse than first feared and Aguero may have to hang up his boots at the age of 33.

However, the former Atletico Madrid striker took to Twitter on Friday to deny that is the case, with a decision on his future not being made until at least February.

"Given the rumours, I can say that I am following the indications of the club's doctors, doing tests and treatment and seeing my progress within 90 days. Always positive," he said.

Aguero had been carrying a separate injury upon joining Barca that has restricted him to only five appearances in all competitions this term, totalling 166 minutes on the field.

He scored his one and only goal in last month's Clasico showdown with Real Madrid, the late strike proving to be nothing more than a consolation in Barca's 2-1 defeat.

Prior to joining Barca, Aguero scored a club-record 260 goals in 390 appearances in a glittering decade at Man City, including their famous last-gasp winner against QPR in 2011-12 to clinch the club's maiden Premier League title.

The Buenos Aires-born forward also previously spent three years with Independiente and five with Atletico.

What does the future hold for Kylian Mbappe?

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has long been tipped to join Real Madrid.

Madrid are reportedly preparing another approach for the France forward.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID PUSHING FOR MBAPPE

Real Madrid will make another move for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, according to the front page of Friday's Mundo Deportivo.

Madrid have made no secret of their interest, while Mbappe – who will become a free agent at the end of the campaign – revealed he wanted to leave PSG for Los Blancos at the start of the season.

With Mbappe's contract winding down, LaLiga giants Madrid are stepping up their pursuit.

 

ROUND-UP  

- Mundo Deportivo and Sport claim Barcelona are closing in on the signing for Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling. The England international has found himself down the pecking order in Manchester.

Arsenal are interested in Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, but there have been no talks with the Serbia international's agents, reports Fabrizio Romano. Vlahovic is also wanted by City, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and Tottenham.

- Staying at Emirates Stadium, Gianluca Di Marzio says Arsenal are ready to make a move for Juventus sensation Dejan Kulusevski.

Roma, Milan, Atalanta and Napoli are eyeing Sassuolo winger Jeremie Boga, per Foot Mercato.

- Milan are readying contract renewals for Theo Hernandez, Ismael Bennacer and Rafael Leao, claims Gazzetta dello Sport.

- According to The Sun, Manchester United are hoping to beat Barca to Milan midfielder Franck Kessie on a free transfer. Kessie has also been linked with PSG, Arsenal, Tottenham, Inter and Atletico.

Xavi has his work cut out at Camp Nou following his appointment as Barcelona head coach.

Barca have struggled on the pitch amid off-field turmoil and financial problems.

But Xavi wants to make Barca great again and he reportedly has his eyes on some players across Europe.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA EYE TRIO

RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo and Manchester City pair Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling are transfer options for Barcelona, according to Thursday's Mundo Deportivo.

Xavi is now at the helm of Barca and the club great is tasked with restoring the fortunes of the embattled LaLiga giants.

The Barca head coach is keen to reinforce his squad in either January or at the end of the season.

Barca have also been linked with Chelsea forward Timo Werner and Manchester United veteran Edinson Cavani.

 

ROUND-UP  

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Paul Pogba is set to leave United and Juventus are trying to re-sign the Frenchman, though his salary is proving problematic. Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and he has been linked with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Inter are pressing Marcelo Brozovic to sign a new contract by Christmas, claims Gazzetta dello Sport. The Croatia international is reportedly wanted by Barca, Liverpool, PSG and United.

Steven Gerrard is expected to join Aston Villa as their new manager, reports Fabrizio Romano. The Rangers boss is set to be joined by his backroom staff at Villa.

Fiorentina are trying to sign River Plate striker Julian Alvarez as Dusan Vlahovic prepares to leave but Juve are also interested, according to Corriere dello Sport. Vlahovic has no plans to renew in Florence and the Serbia international has been linked with City, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Tottenham, Juve and Inter.

- The Mirror says United are confident of landing Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers as their new manager. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under mounting pressure at United and former Liverpool boss Rodgers has emerged as a target for the struggling Red Devils due to a release clause in his contract.

Brazil head coach Tite said the Selecao were interested in Xavi joining their coaching staff before the Barcelona great returned to Camp Nou as head coach.

Xavi has been tasked with restoring the fortunes of embattled LaLiga giants Barca following his appointment as Ronald Koeman's successor on Saturday.

The 41-year-old spent 17 trophy-laden seasons at Barcelona before moving to Al-Sadd in 2015, eventually taking charge four years later.

After returning to Catalonia, Xavi revealed he turned down the opportunity to join Tite's Brazil ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

As Brazil – six points clear atop the standings – prepare for Thursday's CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier against Colombia, Tite addressed the country's interest.

"I don't have too much information on Xavi to do a deeper analysis," Tite told reporters. "I know him from inside the pitch. And some information from the press that is superficial. I don't know him with the depth I have with my colleagues that I spend every day with. We have to be careful to talk about it.

"What I can say to you is that they talked to me about it. Rogerio Caboclo talked to me about that possibility. And he said that he would talk to Xavi. And I said yes because he could bring, as an assistant manager, the baggage of what he experienced inside the football field.

"Plus the experience he had outside it. As a captain, the conduct he had as a leader, and I could see it even from far away. He could bring his leadership, correction, knowledge, ideas.

"From that moment, what happened I don't know. Rogerio [Caboclo] told you about everything. But, yes, this was talked about. And right afterwards, they talked about Muricy [Ramalho]. And, yes, they talked about it. Yes, he was requested. And this is the second stage because Muricy is the one now."

Brazil are unbeaten through 11 World Cup qualifiers on the road to Qatar 2022, though the focus has been on Gabriel Jesus leading into the Colombia clash.

Jesus has not scored for the Selecao since the 2019 Copa America final against Peru, but Tite backed the Manchester City forward.

"Gabriel is an attacker," Tite said. "He is either nine or seven. Either he is on the side, as a wing, aggressive. Or he is the one infiltrating. From the depth pass. He has both characteristics. He has this history in the national team.

"Go back in time. When I took over in the game against the Equator, he was that player, he did a sequel. Then, he played on the side with [Roberto] Firmino and [Philippe] Coutinho inside. We didn't have Neymar. He has this versatility. He is a player who has the physical and technical virtues to perform one or another function. Sometimes, scoring a goal is from the opportunities you have.

"It reminds me of Edmar, a player I used to play with. I always thought that there are phases that the ball hits, hits, and I score. And there are some moments when I am in the right place, I follow the move, but the ball doesn't come.  He will appear. In the last match, it appeared. And it had, in the great defences from the Uruguayan goalkeeper [Fernando] Muslera, two or three accurate finishes.

"That is what I want from an attacker. That is what the specific work has been given and what Gabriel Jesus can give."

Real Madrid cannot afford to be complacent despite Barcelona's early season struggles, defender Dani Carvajal says.

Barca are ninth in LaLiga heading into the November international break, already 11 points behind leaders Real Sociedad and 10 shy of second-placed Madrid.

The Blaugrana are winless in four as a miserable season, which began with Lionel Messi leaving for Paris Saint-Germain, continues at Camp Nou.

Club great Xavi will take charge when the campaign resumes, with Sergi Barjuan having overseen two league matches since Ronald Koeman was sacked.

Xavi, who won 25 major honours in his Barca playing career, said as he was presented this week: "We have to work hard to get back to winning trophies."

Most commentators expect, at least in the league, silverware will have to wait until next season, but Madrid stalwart Carvajal is not ruling Barca out.

"Far from it," he told Marca. "We respect all rivals. We are surprised to see Barca so far behind, but no one can rule them out for any title.

"Respect is essential. Teams have better and worse moments, but everything comes out."

Indeed, Carvajal expects a big impact from Xavi, saying: "It is a safe change. The arrival of a figure like Xavi for Barcelona will fill them with enthusiasm.

"Although he is a rival, I wish him all the luck in the world – not against us – because he is a colleague."

Aaron Ramsey has become an issue for Juventus, being on a bumper contract but having fallen out of favour.

Ramsey signed with Juve in 2019 on a four-year deal from Arsenal.

The 30-year-old has only made 70 appearances across almost two-and-a-half seasons, including only five this term.

 

TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE PAIR KEEN ON RAMSEY

Juventus are shopping around Aaron Ramsey with Premier League pair Everton and Newcastle United in the mix, claims Goal.

The Bianconeri are keen to find a buyer for the Wales international midfielder in January although his salary may be a stumbling block.

No formal offers have been tabled yet for the ex-Arsenal star.

ROUND-UP  

- The transfer saga involving Paul Pogba continues to twist and turn with The Star claiming Manchester United are willing to sell him in January, with his contract expiring at the end of the season. Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Juventus have been linked with the French midfielder.

- AS claims Manchester United are hoping to win the race for Sevilla's Jules Kounde , with Chelsea 's admiration long known.

- West Ham will turn down any approaches for England international Declan Rice , reports The Sun. The midfielder has been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea .

- Newcastle are angling to land Ousmane Dembele as a free agent if he refuses to pen a new deal with Barcelona, reports Express.

- Internazionale could also seal a free transfer for Andre Onana from Ajax according to Fabrizio Romano, who claims a verbal agreement was reached months ago. Barcelona have also shown an interest in Onana.

- Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah has interest from German club Monchengladbach for a January move according to The Sun.

- Goal claims that Liverpool legend and current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is Aston Villa 's first choice to take their vacant managerial role following Dean Smith's dismissal.

Philippe Coutinho hopes Xavi can achieve success with the existing group of players at Barcelona. 

Xavi was presented as Barca's new head coach on Monday, returning to the club that formed him as a player and with whom we won 25 trophies during an illustrious 17 years.

The former midfielder is the permanent successor to Ronald Koeman, who was sacked following the 1-0 defeat at Rayo Vallecano on October 27. 

Sergi Barjuan stepped in for the interim and took charge of a win and two draws, the last of which saw Barca throw away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Celta Vigo. They now sit ninth in LaLiga after 12 games, 11 points adrift of leaders Real Sociedad. 

However, Coutinho believes Xavi could well be the man to turn things around at Barca following the exits of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann. 

"Xavi was a great player, an idol, and now he's back home at Barcelona," he told a news conference while on international duty with Brazil. "I hope he can be very successful with the group we have. 

"I was able to talk to him once when I had to visit some doctors in Qatar. I know what a great guy he is. He will definitely do a great job at Barcelona." 

Coutinho, who returned from nine months out with a knee injury in September, was accused by Catalan newspaper Sport of being lazy when warming-up on the sidelines against Celta. 

He denied that was the case and insisted he is keener than ever to put in work as he prepares to make his first Brazil appearance in over a year. 

"I was kind of surprised when I got home and saw the story. I've never lacked professionalism in my life. I've always respected everyone I work with. But it's okay. I respect the opinion of you journalists," he said. 

"On my selection [by Brazil], I'm very happy and really want to be here. I'm focused on working, to achieve things through working, in the 10 days I have here." 

He added: "I feel very good. It's obvious that being injured for nine months is not easy, returning from three surgeries in a row on the same knee. 

"But since I came back I haven't had any pain or discomfort. I feel good." 

Pep Guardiola has tipped Xavi to be a managerial success at Barcelona in his own right as he distanced himself from comparisons with his former colleague.

Xavi was paraded at Camp Nou in front of around 10,000 supporters on Monday as he was officially presented as Ronald Koeman's permanent successor.

He is back at the club where he spent 17 seasons during his playing career, racking up 767 appearances across that period – a tally only surpassed by Lionel Messi (778).

The 41-year-old won LaLiga eight times and the Champions League on four occasions before ending his 24-year association with the Catalan giants in 2015.

Six years on, and with two and a half years of coaching experience under his belt at Qatari side Al Sadd, Xavi is back in Catalonia and tasked with turning the tide at struggling Barca.

Xavi thrived under the management of former team-mate Guardiola, whom he described as the best coach in the world during his unveiling on Monday.

But Guardiola, who was among those present at Camp Nou for the presentation, does not want Xavi to be tied down by any comparisons to the club's successful past.

"I wasn't the heir to anybody and Xavi doesn't have to be my heir," Guardiola said. "If Joan Laporta has chosen Xavi then it's because there are millions of pros and few cons.

"He knows the club and will bring positive energy, given how he enjoys football and because of his dedication. He always sees the positive side of things."

"With his class, dedication and effort, I'm sure he'll improve the club's situation."

Guardiola won 14 trophies during an era-defining spell in charge of Barcelona – his first in senior management – before achieving success at Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Speaking earlier on Monday, when asked about the similarities between himself and Guardiola, Xavi said: "He was a reference for me as a player and a manager. 

"I think he's the best manager in the world. If people want to compare me with him, that's a positive."

New Barcelona head coach Xavi says it is important the club no longer dwell on Lionel Messi's exit as they have others who can step up and fill the superstar forward's void.

Barca have got off to a poor start in their first season without Messi since 2003-04, the Catalans having won just six of their 16 matches in all competitions.

Argentina international Messi scored 672 goals and assisted 265 more across his 778 appearances for the club, amounting to 937 goal involvements in total.

Messi averaged a goal every 110.3 minutes in all competitions in his final season with Barca (38 goals in 47 games) before joining Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

 

That compares to a goal every 237.3 minutes for Barca's leading scorer Memphis Depay this term (six goals in 16 matches).

Ansu Fati inherited Messi's number 10 shirt and has averaged an encouraging one goal every 91.8 minutes in 2021-22, but that is across just eight matches and is set for another spell on the sidelines.

Only three others – Martin Braithwaite, Sergi Roberto and Gerard Pique (two each) – have scored multiple goals for Barca this season.

One of the big tasks on Xavi's hands after being officially presented as Ronald Koeman's successor on Monday is to get the most out of the attacking players available to him.

And while the Barca midfield legend would love to be able to call upon Messi and some other former team-mates, he is eager to look to the future rather than the past.

"I'd have liked to have managed Messi, of course, and also Samuel Eto'o, Ronaldinho... but they are not here," he said at a news conference.

"I still have a close friendship with Leo, that is well known. He has written to wish me luck. As always, he has joked around. He is a real joker.

"I wish him all the luck in the world. He is the best player in the history of football and obviously the history of this club, but we do not have him.

"We have other players that need to perform and be good in his place; players who can make a difference on the pitch. We cannot think about the players we do not have."

Messi's first three months at PSG have not entirely gone to plan either, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner having played in just eight of their 18 games due to niggling injuries.

He has had 15 shots without finding the net in Ligue 1, failing to score from an expected goals value of 1.9, with his only three goals to date coming in the Champions League.

Only Clermont Foot midfielder Jim Allevinah (16) and Troyes forward Renaud Ripart (19) have had more shots without scoring in the French top flight this term.

New Barcelona head coach Xavi believes Ousmane Dembele can be the best player in the world in his position and has urged the club to prioritise a new deal for the winger.

Dembele has failed to justify his transfer fee, reported at the time to be worth up to €147m with add-ons, since joining Barca from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017.

He has made 119 appearances for Barca in total, starting 76 of those. To put that into context, 10 players, three of whom left ahead of the 2020-21 season in Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Nelson Semedo, have featured more in that time, with Sergio Busquets (209) leading the way.

The France international returned from a five-month lay-off in last week's win against Dynamo Kiev, only to sustain a hamstring injury in that game that will again keep him out.

Despite Dembele's persistent fitness issues, however, Xavi made clear at his Camp Nou unveiling on Monday that he wants Barca to keep hold of the 24-year-old.

"He can be the best footballer in the world in his position," Xavi said at a news conference. "He has spectacular abilities and a winning mentality. His renewal is a priority right now.

"We have to work with him and demand a lot. That will also depend on him, on his mentality. He will have to train well to prevent injuries."

 

Dembele has scored 30 goals and assisted 20 more for Barca, meaning he has been directly involved in 0.65 goals per 90 minutes.

That is an identical return to highly regarded Liverpool pair Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, among players from Europe's top five leagues since August 2017.

However, it does lag considerably behind the likes of fellow forwards Erling Haaland (1.39), Lionel Messi (1.29), Robert Lewandowski (1.27), Kylian Mbappe (1.24) and Neymar (1.14) – the man he replaced at Camp Nou.

Dembele's existing deal is set to expire at the end of the season and he can therefore discuss ​a free transfer with other clubs from January 1.

Barca have numerous other issues to contend with between now and then, not least in terms of potential targets ahead of Xavi's first transfer window at the helm.

Asked if he is hopeful cash-strapped Barca can bring in new recruits, Xavi said: "We are going to assess it with the club and we are going to decide. 

"It is soon, but we are going to work to strengthen the team. It is always an opportunity. For me, it is clear that we must ensure all the players we have are clear about what they each have to do in every moment of a game."

Xavi's first game in charge of Barcelona, where he spent 17 seasons during his playing career, is against city rivals Espanyol on November 20.

Xavi intends to lean on advice from previous Barcelona coaching greats to help restore the club to its former glories, vowing: "We are Barca, we have to win". 

The 41-year-old was appointed as Ronald Koeman's successor on Saturday, returning to the club where he spent 17 seasons during his playing career.

Former Spain international Xavi has spent the past two and a half years in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd and is now tasked with transforming the fortunes of Barcelona.

The Catalan giants have won just six of their 16 matches in all competitions this season and are ninth in LaLiga, already 10 points adrift of bitter rivals Real Madrid.

Barca have won just one trophy, the Copa del Rey, in the past two seasons – a far cry from Xavi's time at the club when lifting 25 trophies in an illustrious Camp Nou spell.

Xavi played under eight permanent coaches at Barcelona, a list that includes Louis van Gaal, Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique.

The former Spain international is now the man in the hotseat – arguably the most high-profile job in football – and has a clear blueprint as to how he can turn things around.

"Many times I think about advice from the likes of Frank, Van Gaal, [Johann] Cruyff, Guardiola, Luis Enrique and my father," he said at a news conference on Monday.

"Guardiola in particular was a reference for me as a player and a manager. I think he's the best manager in the world.

"If people want to compare me with him, that's a positive. Of course I understand the pressure of this job. I understand this is the best club in the world.

"We have to demand everything from our players. There are high expectations but that's a good thing. We have to work hard to get back to winning trophies."

Xavi was speaking after being unveiled in front of around 10,000 spectators at Camp Nou – Guardiola among them – where he formally signed a two and a half year contract.

"I don't want to cry, but thank you very much to all the fans, to all the club, it's just amazing," Xavi said.

"I can say one thing, we are the best club in the world, and we are gonna work to try and win many titles. Barca cannot draw or lose, we have to win every single game.

"This a dream come true. I return with the maximum responsibility of being the coach of the first team. We must work and bring order. 

"The objective is to steady the ship of Barcelona, ​​to enjoy and win. Barca is my home and I really want to face this challenge. 

"It is a delicate moment in economic and sporting terms, but I am prepared, together with my staff."

Xavi will take charge of his first training session on Tuesday in preparation for Barca's next match, a derby showdown with Espanyol on November 20.

"I'll say it again: We have to demand the most of ourselves, knowing that we are Barca," Xavi added. "We cannot play to draw or lose – we have to win.

"We have to work hard, knowing we have a game with Espanyol coming up. We have to be able to compete against any opponent."

Xavi returns to Catalonia six years after departing for Al Sadd, where he saw out his playing career before making the move into coaching.

The World Cup winner turned down the chance to take charge of Barcelona on two previous occasions, which he put down to the timing being wrong.

"The first two times Barcelona came, it didn't feel right, both at a family level and personally. I needed more time," he said. 

"First it was in January and then the summer, with an election in between, and there was a lot of uncertainty, it was not the moment. 

"Then Joan called me. I have always said that he is the best president in the history of Barca. I know that he is a guy who is looking forward, and now was the time."

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