There used to be a time when Barca’s midfield relied on geniuses like Xavi and Iniesta. Long before Rakitic and Busquets, there used to be a certain player by the name of Xavi. Such was his connection with Messi that pundits used to call it, Barcelona Legends Xavi and Messi – The Inseparables! Xavi’s cutting passes often allowed Messi to get the better of opposing defenses. It truly was a glorious time.
Xavi was a true legend of the game. He imposed himself on the midfield. Despite playing in the same squad as Puyol, Ronaldinho, Iniesta and Et’o, Xavi made himself indispensable. For a long time, Barca did not have to look for creative playmakers for the team. They had the perfect answer in the form of Xavi.
A Beautiful Partnership
Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of his game was his connection with Messi. It seemed as if the two naturally understood each other. Both read the game in the same way. Both ran around the pitch in a synchronized philosophy. It was just beautiful.
Many also say that Xavi and Iniesta had a major role in the making of Leo. The style that we see today is reminiscent of the old days. Perhaps it was both these giants of the midfield who allowed the tiki-taka to be inculcated. These two were the ones who shifted Barca’s focus from wing play to creativity through the center.
Xavi – Messi’s Man Through and Through!
Not just on the pitch, but off the pitch as well, Xavi has been assisting Leo. He has repeatedly said that Leo is by far the greatest player of all time. Not just this, but he has also compared Leo with Cristiano Ronaldo. This is a topic many tend to avoid.
The comparison between the two legends has often been controversial. Thus, many try not to comment. Xavi, however, is undeterred by any criticism. He loves Messi, and he is not ashamed of it. He repeatedly argues in favor of Leo. According to him, Leo is a more complete player. This is not to say that he doesn’t have any regard for Cristiano. Just like any professional, Xavi admires the Portuguese for his incredible ethic. He admits that Ronaldo has achieved the unbelievable, and is a true Madrid legend. However, compared with Messi, Ronaldo is still lacking in some areas. Xavi argues that Leo completes the team. Barca would just not be the same without him. While you can find a Cristiano, it will be hard to find someone like Messi to replace him.
Why should I listen to Xavi?
Xavi’s comments have often earned him the ire of Ronaldo fans in general, and Real Madrid fans in particular. Recently, Ronaldo also jumped into the debate when Xavi reiterated his love for Leo. It is alleged that Ronaldo said that he doesn’t need to listen to Xavi. According to him, Xavi has no Balon D’Ors and so his words just don’t count.
While this ferocious rivalry will probably go on, we may never get to see the two legends play together again. Perhaps its time to bring out the DVDs, and relive the old days.