Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández has praised his former boss Louis van Gaal, describing him as a strong character.
"[He is a] good person, very good trainer," he said in an exclusive interview with ESPN FC's Andy Mitten. "He has a very strong character, but he's calm in the Premier League because there's less pressure. He's much calmer than when he was at Barca or Bayern Munich.
"He's honest, methodical and a real perfectionist. He's very demanding, he's strict and he wants to achieve the highest levels possible."
The former Spain international spoke about the problem between his former teammate Victor Valdes and the current Manchester United boss.
"[Van Gaal and Valdes] are two strong characters, but it's a difficult situation for Victor," said Xavi, who sealed a move to Qatari club Al Sadd in the summer. "Let's hope he finds a solution soon. I'm sad for him. He's a great professional, a good person. He's training, he's working hard. He'll return to football. It's better for Victor to be playing football."
On talks that Jose Mourinho was merely a translator under Louis van Gaal at the Camp Nou, the midfield maestro said that wasn't the case.
"Rubbish," Xavi said. "He was the assistant coach, someone who understood the philosophy of Barca and who shared many of the same characteristics of Van Gaal. He was very respected by the players. He trained us sometimes alone at Barca B and he was excellent. I'm surprised that he became known for another type of football, more defensive, because he wasn't like that with us."