Xavi is a regulator, growling whenever his teammate drifts outside the ‘zone’. This zone is the various triangles’ he forms with the 10 players on the pitch. If fame creeps into a player eventually disrupting the structure of the team, Xavi will remind him of his place. Take for example, the case of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He had thought they were just a bunch of inconspicuous players. They are among the best in the world, but that does not mean they have to be and act any different.
Xavi explains being modest
Football turns you into a ‘caricature’, the press does that, but if you start to believe this, you are mistaken. You have to stay true to yourself, always.’ – Xavi (LAF)
Xavi explains life after La Masia
Averaging a splendid 90+% pass completion rate per game, Xavi thanks his upbringing to the famed Johan Cryuff instigated La Masia and its simple school of thought.
‘Three attackers, three defenders, triangles in the mid field. Cruyff always says: If you’ve got the ball, you don’t need to defend and he’s right.’ Johan was far ahead of his time, he saw things that others didn’t see. Pep does this now too, Guardiola has reworked Barcelona’s system. On the pitch lines have become tighter, and space to actually play football has diminished, yet Pep manages to create spaces for it.’ – Xavi (LAF)
Xavi explains Dutch Influence
Louis van Gaal was one of the names associated with Barcelona to lead the club during the 97 – 00 seasons. He also won the league twice and one Spanish cup under significant Dutch influence with the likes of Michael Reiziger, Frank de Boer, Phillip Cocu, and Patrick Kluivert in the team.
Van Gaal was a good manager too, Xavi hastens to add. ‘He saw that too, but he didn’t go down well here. We’re like that, us Catalans. If we don’t like you, you can forget it. He trusted his people, the people he knew. You see that a lot: people who come from the outside often think that the level is not high enough here, which you have to bring in this quality from outside. But Catalans can do it, you just have to give us the chance, act boldly as a manager. And Van Gaal was. He gave me, Puyol, Valdes and Oleguer our debuts. We have always been lucky with Dutch managers.’ – Xavi (LAF)
Xavi explains Love
Though the talented midfielder recently tied up the knot with his girl friend – Nuria Cunillera, his love for the club cannot be forgotten.
“For me, Barca is unconditional. Let’s just say that I’m playing at Arsenal, at Manchester, at Bayern Munich. I’d constantly be asking myself, ‘What’s happening at Barca?’ I’d be paying attention to what’s going on, who’s playing, what they are doing, how they are doing … I feel Barca. That’s the great difference from the people who don’t feel it. I love this club, I love it. I always say that I will never leave Barca until my career ends. I won’t go. I won’t go. I’m happy at Barca. Barca, I love it, I feel like it’s mine. For me it’s unconditional. No loans, no offers.”– Xavi (TV3)
And finally I explain my appreciation for Xavi apart from his skills on the pitch
In an interview with El Pais, Spanish daily, his father reminiscing about one of the 6-yr-old Xavi’s moments, said, “they were small, and of course, all of them went forward to score the goal and back to defend. You know, six-year-old kids. Everyone except Xavi, who always ended up alone in front of his goalkeeper.” When the game ended, on the way home, his father asked him why he did that. Little Xavi responded, “Papá, if no one’s there and we lose the ball, the goalkeeper will be alone!”
The last statement sums up how he approaches the game and his attitude towards his team mates.