Xavi talks to Carragher

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Xavi talks to Carragher

Post by Winter is Coming on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:36 am

CARRAGHER: You will be defending a 2-0 lead when you face Manchester City in the Champions League this week, but did the way they approached the first leg surprise you?

XAVI: We were expecting they would want to have more of the ball. The way they set up  surprised us a little too. They weren’t defensive but they were sitting back.  
Pellegrini’s teams normally want the ball and to take the game to the opposition. He normally likes to play football, open up the game down the wings and press high up the pitch. In a way, this time they did neither. They have players for a style more like Barcelona so it was a bit of a surprise.

CARRAGHER: City have clearly been heavily influenced by  Barcelona’s success as a club. They have Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain in key positions and the team now play in a  certain way that is replicated  by its Academy sides. Do you think it is possible for clubs to  replicate Barca’s style?

XAVI: Yes, they have players like Yaya Toure, Nasri and now Navas and Negredo who are top-quality footballers who play the game  the right way. And Pellegrini is a fantastic coach, with the way in which he wants to play football right from the back.
For example, he has brought in Demichelis. He has been criticised but he can bring the ball out well from the back in order to get the team playing football. He has plenty of good footballers to play a passing game. But it’s another thing when they come up against Barca as we have seven or eight players of our own who hardly ever give the ball away.

CARRAGHER: Look through history at some of the famous sides who have dominated football: Johan Cruyff’s Ajax, the AC Milan team of Arrigo Sacchi back to Di Stefano’s Real Madrid. Barcelona  are in that group but do you feel that your period of dominance is reaching the end of its cycle?  

XAVI: No, absolutely no. I don’t think so. We have an excellent generation of players. Since Cruyff changed the history and philosophy of Barcelona, over the last five years, that philosophy has gone ‘boom’! It’s really exploded and we have made history.
But Barcelona can carry on winning trophies. We won’t suddenly be down here (points to floor). This is a spectacular crop of players. Look at the ages of the players: Fabregas, Messi, Iniesta, Alves, now Neymar, Jordi Alba and Pique — they are all around 26, 27, 28 29 years old. That’s a great generation of footballers.

The period with (Pep) Guardiola was unique. Under him we were ‘ding, ding, ding!’ Ringing the bell all the time, the football was so good. The key point is if you try to compare what we are doing now to that fantastic time under Guardiola, you are going to lose comparisons. That was the greatest period  ever, but if you look at what Tata Martino is doing and the patterns of play, the concept and the idea of how we want to play is there.

CARRAGHER: What did you make of Jose Mourinho’s comments about this being ‘the worst Barcelona side in many, many years?’

XAVI: Mourinho has a different  style. It’s not the same style as  Barcelona. He plays in a more defensive style and I respect that. But it’s to be expected that he doesn’t like our football. He has never liked Barcelona’s style. Not just now but even five years ago.

CARRAGHER: The 7-0 aggregate defeat by Bayern Munich last  season in the Champions League semi-final seemed to dent Barca’s reputation.

XAVI: There is no question we were not at our best. We arrived at that point of the season tired. The big difference was that Bayern had a massive physical advantage on us and the result was huge.

The difference between the squads isn’t huge. The big thing for me was the physical gap. We didn’t reach our standards but we were pushed aside. Now the gap (between the two squads) isn’t so big but the problem is when we face another team like that, they are physically superior. Why? (points to himself).

Look at me! (he is 5ft 7in) Look at Iniesta, Alba, Fabregas. It means we always have to play so much better to win these big games.

CARRAGHER: When Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia came to Liverpool in 2004 I used to ask them why you were never in the Spain team. I used to watch you play but David Albelda and Ruben Baraja were the first-choice midfield pairing. What changed the shape of your career?

XAVI: The trainers before preferred other players. That happens. The change for me came when Luis Aragones became national coach (in 2004). Aragones took me to one side and he said, ‘You are better than him, and him. You are better than the ones who have gone to play in Germany and England. You are playing for me.’
From that point my confidence and self-belief rose. Without Aragones, this grand leap ahead would not have been possible.

CARRAGHER: I was saying you were good before Aragones did!

XAVI: (starts laughing) You know football, eh? So one day you are going to be the coach of Liverpool? I have got your book, Xabi Alonso gave it to me.

CARRAGHER: And my father-in-law has the shirt you signed for me after Spain beat England 1-0 at Old  Trafford in February 2007. Door to interview room bursts open and a familiar face enters…
PEPE REINA. What on earth are you doing here! Who let you in? Reina jumps on Carragher. Oh my God! I just don’t believe it! Xavi! What is going on? The interview resumes…

CARRAGHER: This has been an unprecedented spell of success for Spain and you have an outstanding chance of retaining the World Cup in Brazil. Has it simply been a case of exceptional players coming together at once or a plan that goes back further?

XAVI: The penalty shoot-out against Italy (in their Euro 2008 quarter-final) could have changed history. Spain’s history had usually been pretty negative. But then, boom! Spain go through. Wow! (He gets animated as he explains.) It’s like lifting a millstone from around your neck. That’s when our winning mentality began.

We were no longer happy with getting through the quarter-finals. From then on, we were obliged to win. Everyone — the press, supporters — now really believe in the team.
Before that, they didn’t! You’d go to the airport and people would say: ‘Look! there is the team who won’t get past the quarter-finals!’ Now it’s, ‘We’ve got three titles, why not four?’ It’s all positive. If you look beyond football, Spanish history is all about sport. Football makes up 80 per cent of that. Radio stations, TV channels, fans — they all want to see Spain win.

There had been so many years of football culture where Spain had won nothing that there was a huge demand for success from the media and the fans.  This made the players feel a bit like, well, we’ve won in motorcycling, basketball, in every sport apart from football up until 2008. It was like the country needed it so much we said to ourselves, ‘Hey, come on! We need to win!  Everyone else has except us!’ And the sheer demand of the whole country also makes people become winners.

CARRAGHER: That’s maybe similar to what England is experiencing at the minute. We have had success at the  Olympics and in other sports. Should English football have its own culture or does it need to adapt to what is around Europe?

XAVI: Hey, listen, with all the humility in the world, I don’t want to tell England how to do things, but England has to see its current generation of players exactly how it is.

For example, you have wide players with real pace. You need to play a passing game, keeping possession, but then concentrating on  getting the ball into wide areas. You have footballers who are extremely quick.  I think they ought to play in a more direct style but without losing the energy they’ve always had. What’s good about them is that they are competitive and aggressive. You mustn’t lose that English football culture has always been exemplary for us, the way in which you compete, so clean and with a sense of fair play. It has always been an example to us. Always. Never lose that intensity.

CARRAGHER: Are the games against Premier League teams the ones you enjoy most in the Champions League? Did you ever want to play in England?

XAVI: I’m Barcelona through and through and have always wanted to stay here. But I do love the English game.  The  stadiums are always full.  You have that  feeling you are really in football, everything is pure.

Manchester, Liverpool, the supporters, you can’t hear yourself in the stadiums. It’s fantastic. When I go to England, I get the feeling that you are part of football history.
It’s quite sensational. They are a real example, how they behave, the desire to win, the fans, it’s a big event, everything is like you’re in a film. In England there is a lot of respect for professional footballers, in the Latin Hispanic world, less so. People respect players a lot more over there than they do here and that’s why I think so highly of it.

CARRAGHER: Carles Puyol has announced he is retiring at the end of the season and you are entering the final two years of your contract. What does the future hold for you? Do you see yourself managing Barcelona one day?

XAVI: I’d love to, yes. I’d like to remain in football forever. It would always have to be with  Barcelona. That’s where my heart and feelings are, just like you with Liverpool. But that (management) is for the future. Right now, I love to  play football  siempre,  siempre (always, always). When you’re a kid playing, you enjoy having the ball, don’t you? All I ever want to  do is have the ball at my feet, bossing the game.
I’ve been brought up with that style, it’s my football education. I can’t see any other way  to play.

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Re: Xavi talks to Carragher

Post by BarcaLearning on Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:32 am

Xavi is the master, "All I ever want to  do is have the ball at my feet, bossing the game.
I’ve been brought up with that style, it’s my football education. I can’t see any other way  to play."

 :bow: :bow: 

And it does sound like he would very much like to manager Barca one day  :bow:  :bow:

Nice portrait winter is coming  Cool 
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Re: Xavi talks to Carragher

Post by Beautiful Football on Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:18 am

Xavi :bow:  , Of course one day you gonna manage Barca.

What a legend

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Re: Xavi talks to Carragher

Post by windkick on Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:36 am

Beast lord

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Re: Xavi talks to Carragher

Post by CBarca on Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:01 am

I love him.
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Re: Xavi talks to Carragher

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:16 am

XAVI: Mourinho has a different style. It’s not the same style as Barcelona. He plays in a more defensive style and I respect that.

XAVI: Hey, listen, with all the humility in the world, I don’t want to tell England how to do things, but England has to see its current generation of players exactly how it is.

He is humble and respectful ffs :bow:

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Re: Xavi talks to Carragher

Post by windkick on Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:22 am

Xavi probably just broke down more wisdom to Carragher on how the England should approach the game than ol Woy probably ever has

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Re: Xavi talks to Carragher

Post by alexjanosik on Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:53 am

@Winter is Coming wrote:CARRAGHER: You will be defending a 2-0 lead when you face Manchester City in the Champions League this week, but did the way they approached the first leg surprise you?

XAVI: We were expecting they would want to have more of the ball. The way they set up  surprised us a little too. They weren’t defensive but they were sitting back.  
Pellegrini’s teams normally want the ball and to take the game to the opposition. He normally likes to play football, open up the game down the wings and press high up the pitch. In a way, this time they did neither. They have players for a style more like Barcelona so it was a bit of a surprise.

CARRAGHER: City have clearly been heavily influenced by  Barcelona’s success as a club. They have Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain in key positions and the team now play in a  certain way that is replicated  by its Academy sides. Do you think it is possible for clubs to  replicate Barca’s style?

XAVI: Yes, they have players like Yaya Toure, Nasri and now Navas and Negredo who are top-quality footballers who play the game  the right way. And Pellegrini is a fantastic coach, with the way in which he wants to play football right from the back.
For example, he has brought in Demichelis. He has been criticised but he can bring the ball out well from the back in order to get the team playing football. He has plenty of good footballers to play a passing game. But it’s another thing when they come up against Barca as we have seven or eight players of our own who hardly ever give the ball away.

CARRAGHER: Look through history at some of the famous sides who have dominated football: Johan Cruyff’s Ajax, the AC Milan team of Arrigo Sacchi back to Di Stefano’s Real Madrid. Barcelona  are in that group but do you feel that your period of dominance is reaching the end of its cycle?  

XAVI: No, absolutely no. I don’t think so. We have an excellent generation of players. Since Cruyff changed the history and philosophy of Barcelona, over the last five years, that philosophy has gone ‘boom’! It’s really exploded and we have made history.
But Barcelona can carry on winning trophies. We won’t suddenly be down here (points to floor). This is a spectacular crop of players. Look at the ages of the players: Fabregas, Messi, Iniesta, Alves, now Neymar, Jordi Alba and Pique — they are all around 26, 27, 28 29 years old. That’s a great generation of footballers.

The period with (Pep) Guardiola was unique. Under him we were ‘ding, ding, ding!’ Ringing the bell all the time, the football was so good. The key point is if you try to compare what we are doing now to that fantastic time under Guardiola, you are going to lose comparisons. That was the greatest period  ever, but if you look at what Tata Martino is doing and the patterns of play, the concept and the idea of how we want to play is there.

CARRAGHER: What did you make of Jose Mourinho’s comments about this being ‘the worst Barcelona side in many, many years?’

XAVI: Mourinho has a different  style. It’s not the same style as  Barcelona. He plays in a more defensive style and I respect that. But it’s to be expected that he doesn’t like our football. He has never liked Barcelona’s style. Not just now but even five years ago.

CARRAGHER: The 7-0 aggregate defeat by Bayern Munich last  season in the Champions League semi-final seemed to dent Barca’s reputation.

XAVI: There is no question we were not at our best. We arrived at that point of the season tired. The big difference was that Bayern had a massive physical advantage on us and the result was huge.

The difference between the squads isn’t huge. The big thing for me was the physical gap. We didn’t reach our standards but we were pushed aside. Now the gap (between the two squads) isn’t so big but the problem is when we face another team like that, they are physically superior. Why? (points to himself).

Look at me! (he is 5ft 7in) Look at Iniesta, Alba, Fabregas. It means we always have to play so much better to win these big games.

CARRAGHER: When Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia came to Liverpool in 2004 I used to ask them why you were never in the Spain team. I used to watch you play but David Albelda and Ruben Baraja were the first-choice midfield pairing. What changed the shape of your career?

XAVI: The trainers before preferred other players. That happens. The change for me came when Luis Aragones became national coach (in 2004). Aragones took me to one side and he said, ‘You are better than him, and him. You are better than the ones who have gone to play in Germany and England. You are playing for me.’
From that point my confidence and self-belief rose. Without Aragones, this grand leap ahead would not have been possible.

CARRAGHER: I was saying you were good before Aragones did!

XAVI: (starts laughing) You know football, eh? So one day you are going to be the coach of Liverpool? I have got your book, Xabi Alonso gave it to me.

CARRAGHER: And my father-in-law has the shirt you signed for me after Spain beat England 1-0 at Old  Trafford in February 2007. Door to interview room bursts open and a familiar face enters…
PEPE REINA. What on earth are you doing here! Who let you in? Reina jumps on Carragher. Oh my God! I just don’t believe it! Xavi! What is going on? The interview resumes…

CARRAGHER: This has been an unprecedented spell of success for Spain and you have an outstanding chance of retaining the World Cup in Brazil. Has it simply been a case of exceptional players coming together at once or a plan that goes back further?

XAVI: The penalty shoot-out against Italy (in their Euro 2008 quarter-final) could have changed history. Spain’s history had usually been pretty negative. But then, boom! Spain go through. Wow! (He gets animated as he explains.) It’s like lifting a millstone from around your neck. That’s when our winning mentality began.

We were no longer happy with getting through the quarter-finals. From then on, we were obliged to win. Everyone — the press, supporters — now really believe in the team.
Before that, they didn’t! You’d go to the airport and people would say: ‘Look! there is the team who won’t get past the quarter-finals!’ Now it’s, ‘We’ve got three titles, why not four?’ It’s all positive. If you look beyond football, Spanish history is all about sport. Football makes up 80 per cent of that. Radio stations, TV channels, fans — they all want to see Spain win.

There had been so many years of football culture where Spain had won nothing that there was a huge demand for success from the media and the fans.  This made the players feel a bit like, well, we’ve won in motorcycling, basketball, in every sport apart from football up until 2008. It was like the country needed it so much we said to ourselves, ‘Hey, come on! We need to win!  Everyone else has except us!’ And the sheer demand of the whole country also makes people become winners.

CARRAGHER: That’s maybe similar to what England is experiencing at the minute. We have had success at the  Olympics and in other sports. Should English football have its own culture or does it need to adapt to what is around Europe?

XAVI: Hey, listen, with all the humility in the world, I don’t want to tell England how to do things, but England has to see its current generation of players exactly how it is.

For example, you have wide players with real pace. You need to play a passing game, keeping possession, but then concentrating on  getting the ball into wide areas. You have footballers who are extremely quick.  I think they ought to play in a more direct style but without losing the energy they’ve always had. What’s good about them is that they are competitive and aggressive. You mustn’t lose that English football culture has always been exemplary for us, the way in which you compete, so clean and with a sense of fair play. It has always been an example to us. Always. Never lose that intensity.

CARRAGHER: Are the games against Premier League teams the ones you enjoy most in the Champions League? Did you ever want to play in England?

XAVI: I’m Barcelona through and through and have always wanted to stay here. But I do love the English game.  The  stadiums are always full.  You have that  feeling you are really in football, everything is pure.

Manchester, Liverpool, the supporters, you can’t hear yourself in the stadiums. It’s fantastic. When I go to England, I get the feeling that you are part of football history.
It’s quite sensational. They are a real example, how they behave, the desire to win, the fans, it’s a big event, everything is like you’re in a film. In England there is a lot of respect for professional footballers, in the Latin Hispanic world, less so. People respect players a lot more over there than they do here and that’s why I think so highly of it.

CARRAGHER: Carles Puyol has announced he is retiring at the end of the season and you are entering the final two years of your contract. What does the future hold for you? Do you see yourself managing Barcelona one day?

XAVI: I’d love to, yes. I’d like to remain in football forever. It would always have to be with  Barcelona. That’s where my heart and feelings are, just like you with Liverpool. But that (management) is for the future. Right now, I love to  play football  siempre,  siempre (always, always). When you’re a kid playing, you enjoy having the ball, don’t you? All I ever want to  do is have the ball at my feet, bossing the game.
I’ve been brought up with that style, it’s my football education. I can’t see any other way  to play.

I had said the same after the 2 games last season.For me too,the biggest difference between the 2 sides was their far superior physical condition.They were atleast 10 to 15 % physically superior to us and we just couldnt cope with their level physically.Interesting that Xavi agrees.

Also like the part where he says that he always wants the ball at his feet and boss the game.Just so him.I am almost certain that he will coach us some day and I am sure he will be a great coach.

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