Catalan giants Barcelona are targeting a sixth successive win in the Spanish La Liga ahead of their away game against Real Mallorca at the weekend. Since the disappointing draw at home to Rayo Vallecano on the opening weekend, manager Xavi Hernandez and his players have won five league games on the bounce.
Xavi doesn’t think that someone who turned his back on Barcelona during his teenage and joined some other club should be allowed to make his way back into the set-up of the Spanish giants ever again.
It’s being rumoured at the moment that Barcelona is after Hector Bellerin who came to their academy as a kid in 2003 and spent 8 years there before taking an offer from Arsenal to be a part of their youth squad.
Bellerin has since then gone on to feature for the senior team of the Gunners as well and in the last couple of seasons, he has been one of the most promising young defenders in the English Premiership which has probably prompted Barcelona to try and add him back to their ranks. But, Xavi doesn’t like that move. Continue reading →
Former Spanish football Alfonso Perez has asked Barcelona defender Gerard Pique to quit international football in the shirt of Spain due to his political beliefs, according to reports.
Perez, who used to play for Barcelona and Real Madrid, asked the player not to make himself available any longer as he wanted Catalonia to get independence from Spain. Pique has said that he would retire from international duty after the 2018 World Cup. He is openly supporting a referendum on the independence of Catalonia. He was accused of cutting the flag of Spain off the sleeves of his kit.
Perez compared Pique’s action to that of former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola who played friendly games for Catalonia during his playing career without renouncing the Spanish national team.
“It would have been most honest if Guardiola, being such a Catalan, would have renounced the Spanish national team. I am not against the Catalans. My son was born in Barcelona and if I was radical he would have been born in Madrid or Seville. I have nothing against Catalans, but I do against those pushing for independence,” Perez said. Continue reading →
Xavi Hernandez, FC Barcelona legend has said that he believes that if allowed to participate in competitions held by the FIFA, the current Catalonian International football team would be one of the top 10 teams in the world.
With Catalonia getting ready to hold a referendum in September 2017 regarding its independence, Xavi believes that there are a lot of exceptionally talented players in the team. He is also holds the view that with such players, they can go on to become a world-class team.
So far, Xavi has represented Catalonia 12 times throughout his playing career. However, the 36-year old did not rule out the possibility of managing the team in the nearest future.
“You never know. You can never close any door. It’s very early to start making predictions but it’s one of the ideas, coming home to coach in Barcelona, in Catalonia. It’s my home and I feel very comfortable there.
“I always feel happy when I return home and it’s a source of genuine pride to play for the national team.” Continue reading →
Manchester City continued their brilliant form in the new campaign under Pep Guardiola as they defeated West Ham to get maximum points over the weekend.
The win ensures the have nine points, as with Manchester United and Chelsea. The victory sets up an interesting encounter with United in the Manchester derby after the international break.
From the start of game against West Ham, Man City showed their superiority, with nice one touch passes, and good ball control. Within the first twenty minutes, the top level of play yielded two goals, almost sealing the game off. An improved showing from Raheem sterling was a sight to behold, compared to his games last season and at the Euro 2016. He got a goal, and Fernandinho added the second for the Sky Blues.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was confused at the dominance of City, but was helpless. The difference in the games of City since the appointment of Guardiola is obvious. He supervised the tiki-taka style of play in Barcelona, with veteran midfielder Xavi, Iniesta taking the play to another level. Expectations were high with the employment of Guardiola, and so far, the Spaniard has shown his quality.
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Xavi has declared that people should respect Lionel Messi’s decision to retire from international football.
Indeed, the Barcelona striker has stated that he will not be playing for Argentina again after their recent defeat at the Copa America final against Chile. Since then, many football personalities and players have asked Lionel Messi to come back to his decision, but the Argentina forward has yet to make a declaration.
Xavi believes that we should respect his decision and not attempt to pressurize him to come back. Xavi said that Lionel Messi has been giving his best for his national team and instead has always been frustrated by the results. He said that the player has earned the right to make his own decision regarding his career and that people should leave him alone.
He said that people have no right to judge him. If he wants to play for Argentina again, that is his decision and that we should respect him. He believes that Lionel Messi is one of the best players in history and yet has experienced a lot of frustration with Argentina. He believes that the player has every right to be downhearted and to retire.
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The former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez claims that superstar Lionel Messi is not the kind of player to involve in simulation or any other form of cheating.
Messi has come under fire recently after playing the role in the sending-off of Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis when the two teams met each other back in January. The defender claimed that Messi gets preferential treatment from the referees due to his stature in the game. Xavi dismissed those suggestions claiming that Messi is someone who is desperate to play in every game and does not get involved in playacting of such sorts.
Xavi was already a first-team regular when Messi was just coming through the ranks. However, he formed a bit devastating partnership with Messi over the last five years and it saw them lift numerous honours both at a club level and at international level. There have been extraordinary players have been accused of getting unfair advantage in the game. The likes of Diego Maradona, Pele, and Cristiano Ronaldo have all been not exceptions to the list. However, there is a feeling that Messi is one of the few who likes to stay on the pitch even when he is being harassed by opposition. Continue reading →