Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi on Wednesday dismissed speculation linking him with a possible move to either the New York Red Bulls or New York City FC in Major League Soccer. Sources tell ESPN that while the Red Bulls had made an inquiry about the veteran midfielder, Manchester City flatly denied a Daily Telegraph report about NYCFC’s apparent interest.
“Nobody has made me any proposition,” Xavi told Mundo Deportivo. “I know nothing else about New York apart from that it is very cold there. [Red Bulls striker Thierry] Henry has not called me, nor have I spoken with him. I do not have his telephone number.”
During the interview, the Catalan playmaker admitted that he almost joined Bayern Munich in 2008, but that the man who stopped him from joining the Bavarian giant was -- ironically -- its current coach, Pep Guardiola, who at the time had just taken over as Barcelona coach. “It was pretty serious,” Xavi said. “There was not time for anything. Pep grabbed me and said I could not go, that he had in mind for Barca to revolve around some certain players, including me, that I could not leave the club. And I was not wrong. It was another good decision, as my desire is to retire here at Barca.”
Xavi also reserved special praise for his former coach. “[Guardiola] revolutionized Barcelonismo and world soccer,” he said. “He brought us to excellence through his demands. We played at an unsurpassable level. He is the coach with whom I have learned most tactically. He said to us, 'if you pay attention, we will win'. An interventionist. He anticipated everything.”