Xavi’s managerial record in El Clasico compared to Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff

There is no bigger test of your credentials as a Barcelona manager than facing bitter rivals Real Madrid.

El Clasico, one of football’s most tantalising and fiercely contested fixtures, is a contest steeped in history and controversy. Dating all the way back to 1902, it’s a rivalry that conjures up magic like few others.

With the latest instalment of this blockbuster fixture coming on 28 October, Barcelona boss Xavi knows that it could prove a crucial clash in his side’s La Liga title defence.

Xavi has plenty of history with Madrid as a player and manager, but how does his Clasico record compare to the great coaches that have come before him in Catalonia?

Xavi HernandezXavi Hernandez

Xavi has never drawn against Real Madrid as a coach / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

The Spaniard has a mixed record against Real Madrid during his seven derby day meetings. His most recent was easily his most devastating since being in the Barcelona dugout, losing 4-0 at home to Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final having won the first leg 1-0.

That defeat took his tally to four victories and three losses in El Clasico, with Xavi never having overseen a derby draw to date.

His first defeat came in his first Clasico, a 3-2 loss in the Supercopa de Espana semi-final, while Xavi also lost his first league meeting of the 2022/23 season 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, there have been plenty of positives for the former Barcelona midfielder in this fixture as well.

A maiden victory came in his second Clasico after taking charge in Catalonia, a sensational 4-0 win away in Madrid. A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang-inspired Barcelona romped to a comfortable triumph, with Xavi adding two more Clasico conquests in the first couple of months of 2023.

The 43-year-old coach will be hoping he can help mastermind a fifth derby victory in a week, although it will be a home clash away from Camp Nou.

Josep GuardiolaJosep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has plenty of experience in Clasicos / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Pep Guardiola has considerable history with Real Madrid, more recently while in charge of Manchester City and Bayern Munich, but the maestro’s record in El Clasico as Barcelona boss was truly astonishing.

In 15 Clasicos, Guardiola only lost twice, winning nine and drawing just four. One of those defeats came in his final meeting as Barca boss, a 2-1 victory that helped push Real Madrid to the 2011/12 La Liga title.

The other loss was similarly crushing in a narrow 1-0 defeat in extra time in the 2011 Copa del Rey final, however, Guardiola was more often than not on the winning side in his Clasico days.

Five of the current Man City manager’s nine victories came in his first five encounters, including a staggering 6-2 win at the Bernabeu and a 5-0 home La Liga triumph.

In Guardiola’s 15 meetings with Real Madrid in the Barca dugout, his side scored 33 goals and conceded just 15.

Soccer - Dutch Player and Manager Johan CruyffSoccer - Dutch Player and Manager Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff enjoyed 25 meetings with Real Madrid / Christian Liewig – Corbis/GettyImages

Johan Cruyff was also a Barcelona player and coach who knew a thing or two about El Clasico, but his record as a manager wasn’t quite as fruitful as Guardiola’s.

The Dutchman oversaw 25 Clasicos during his time at Camp Nou, winning nine, drawing six and losing ten of the encounters.

Cruyff’s Clasico era was wildly unpredictable, never winning or losing more than two clashes with Madrid in a row. It began with a 2-0 defeat in the Supercopa final but finished with a 3-0 victory eight years later in February 1996.

Cruyff did also enjoy the last laugh in the Copa del Rey final in 1990 thanks to a second-half double from Guillermo Amor and Julio Salinas.

Xavi’s managerial Clasico record compared to Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff


Matches played









Pep Guardiola





Johan Cruyff






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