Xavi Hernandez has recalled working under Louis Van Gaal at Barcelona, describing the Manchester United manager as ‘direct and honest.’
The veteran, who left Barca at the end of last season, has been interviewed by Marca in his new home of Qatar, where he is turning out for Al Sadd, and was asked about the Dutchman’s approach.
“I’ll remember him for life, for good reasons. He was the direct type. One day he’d humiliate me in front of the group, the next he’d tell me I was the next Zidane,” Xavi revealed.
“That’s how he is. And over time, it’s positive. With him I went to play at Old Trafford, and to Alcoyano with Barca B.
“That is something that’s been lost now. If you’re in the first team, it’s assumed you can’t lose your place. A boy of 18 has to play, above all else. Then you go to the first team.
“I don’t know what happened with Van Gaal, Victor Valdes and David De Gea. Van Gaal helped Valdes go to United but something has happened between them. They’re two very strong characters.
“With De Gea I’m sure he’s gone to his face, without deceiving him. He’s direct and honest. I prefer that in people, a reliable type but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t make mistakes.”
Xavi was also asked about the current Barca Coach, Luis Enrique, and suggested his former teammate is a harsh taskmaster.
“He’s good, demanding and a hard worker. Something that never fails – when you have someone like that, to put it bluntly, they put a rocket up you,” he said.
“It works. There has to be a great demand in the locker room.”