Xavi: Real Madrid do not care about playing beautiful football

By: Aveek Chakraborty
Barcelona legend Xavi

Bengaluru, January 11: Barcelona legend Xavi has accused Real Madrid of not playing beautiful football and claims that it all started after the arrival of former Real boss Jose Mourinho.

Although Madrid have been one of the most successful clubs in terms of Champions League wins in the last ten years, winning it thrice and they also won La Liga and the Champions League last year but this season they are struggling 16 points behind leaders Barcelona.

And at such low point, one of their rival teams legend Xavi left no stones unturned to make a dig at them and claimed that the Spanish team although are successful in recent times, they only believe in the result and do not care about exciting football whereas his former team Barcelona do both.

"Barcelona is the final exam for a player," Xavi said, as reported by Goal.

"It is the most difficult club and the most demanding in the world. Madrid do not play so beautifully. At the Bernabeu, if a defender hoofs the ball into the stand it is fine. That is the culture. The fans applaud.

"At the Camp Nou you knock the ball into the stand and the grumbles are so loud it is negative. Since Cruyff's time."

The longest-serving midfielder who was one of the pivotal stars of the Catalan side that won numerous trophies in between 2008 and 2011 also talked about Jose Mourinho who came at Bernabeu from Inter Milan in 2010.

Mourinho somehow stopped the domination of Barcelona in 2012 by winning the only league title in three years and also then recorded highest number of points in a single season.

However, the 37-year-old World Cup winner said, the Portuguese manager inherited the dull long ball system into Madrid squad during those years and the Spanish champions are still following the same route which according to him has made them less entertaining.

Xavi added: "Mourinho's Madrid hit the ball direct over the top. Mourinho told his players never to stop the ball, to play quickly, and then Di Maria, Cristiano or Benzema would break. Now they do it with Bale. They don't want to play football."

Madrid who are currently fourth in the table, are facing a torrid time under Zidane and will face Villareal next in La Liga with a hope of getting all three points to climb up the ladder in the league table.

Story first published: Thursday, January 11, 2018, 9:43 [IST]
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