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Name Xavi Hernandez
Gender Male
Ethnic Catalan
Job Catalan Footballer


Org Spain National Team
Club as Player Barcelona FC

2011 05 26 Retrieve

[on Cruyff] He [Cruyff] changed the idiosyncrasy of the club (Barça). He introduced the philosophy to keep the ball, to play in triangles, to attack. That philosophy remains true to this day. We’re all students of Cruyff and his school of thought.

2011 06 11 Retrieve

[Xavi on Leo Messi] Leo [Messi] is the best player of all time - better than Pele, Maradona or Cruyff. There have been some great teams in history - Pele’s Brazil, Cruyff’s Ajax, Sacchi’s Milan - but in the past 20 years this Barcelona team is the best

2013 11 05 Retrieve

[Xavi Hernandez on Paul Scholes] In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen - the most complete - is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times. Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything. He can play the final pass, he can score, he is strong, he never gets knocked off the ball and he doesn’t give possession away. If he had been Spanish then maybe he would have been valued more

2014 01 11 Retrieve

[Xavi on Jose Mourinho] Jose Mourinho is a coach who focuses only on results. He says he is ‘The Special One’ because he won this and that in so many countries, but I don’t like the way his teams play. Who remembers the Inter side who were champions of Europe? He has not left a legacy, unlike [Johan] Cruyff. [Roberto] Di Matteo was the same. He won the Champions League, but that team didn’t play football at all. I’m happy playing for Barça because of our philosophy

2014 07 12 Retrieve

[2010 World Cup winner Xavi Hernandez on Philipp Lahm] Philipp Lahm is a top player with a lot of personality and you can play him at the back, in the middle and he is good going forward. He is clearly not stopping in his pursuit to simply get better and better

2014 09 20 Retrieve

[Xavi on Iniesta] Iniesta is the most talented Spanish player in history. But when I see Pirlo I think he’s wonderful. I watch Juventus just to see him

2015 01 10 Retrieve

[Xavi on who should win the FIFA Ballon d’Or] First, Leo [Messi]. Second Lahm and third Mascherano. Cristiano [Ronaldo] didn’t do much in the World Cup, and I think that in a World Cup year, that’s what defines it

2015 01 24 Retrieve

[Xavi on Messi] If you can’t link up well with Messi, football’s not for you.

2015 05 09 Retrieve

[Xavi on himself] I didn’t get recognition until 2008, when I’d been in the team for ten years. If I skip through reports from years gone by, it makes me laugh: they said I was obsolete, that Edgar Davids made me look good, that I only moved the ball from side to side. They called me ‘The Windscreen Wiper’

2015 09 26 Retrieve

[Xavi on Louis van Gaal] He was a very direct guy. One day he would humiliate you in front of the entire team and the following day he would make you feel like Zidane

2015 12 05 Retrieve

[Xavi on his former team-mate Messi at Barcelona] I think Leo is the clear favourite now, and he deserves it too for everything he’s achieved at Barcelona. There’s no comparison in my book. He has total command of every aspect of the game. He’s the best at everything and he shows that in every match. He deserves this Ballon d’Or

2015 12 21 Retrieve

[on Messi, Suarez, and Neymar] Neymar, Luis Suarez and Messi are amazing. We (Barcelona) do not need much preparation – these three are able to create attacks on their own. We have the best attack in the world, I think it is the best forward line in history

2016 01 16 Retrieve

[Xavi reflects on getting to know Messi and how he has grown] A while after he came to the first team we shared a trip and I discovered an educated boy, who was respectful, humble and not conceited at all. And that makes him exemplary, because being what he is now, being the best, he hasn’t lost those values, he hasn’t lost a bit of that humility and he respects his team-mates. I think Leo never wanted to be different from the others

2016 02 13 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] He was excellent in his three years at Barca. They said he was a translator. Rubbish. He was the assistant coach, someone who understood the philosophy of Barca and who shared many of the same characteristics of Van Gaal. He was very respected by the players. He trained us sometimes alone at Barca B and he was excellent. I’m surprised that he became known for another type of football, more defensive, because he wasn’t like that with us

2016 04 09 Retrieve

[Xavi on Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier] In Catalonia there used to be a half-hour programme every Monday where they’d show the best goals from the Premier League. Every week, Matt Le Tissier would be on the show. I’m talking outrageous, sickening goals. Straight in the top corner, left-foot flick and then right over the defender and score against Newcastle. We used to say: ‘This guy, Le Tissier, is outrageous and he never goes to a big team. He stays at Southampton. It’s incredible. He could play for anyone.’ Our whole house was obsessed with him

2016 07 23 Retrieve

[Former Spain international Xavi gave his opinion on former team-mate Lionel Messi] For me, there is no heir to Messi. There will never be one. There will be very good footballers, but nobody at Messi’s level. To be at the top for so many years, winning so many individual and team trophies, will be impossible to surmount. In the future, everything will be more equal amongst the best players. Though now they try to sell the story of the battle between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, those of us who know football, know there is no comparison. When Messi ends his career, there will be Neymar, Eden Hazard and five or ten players at a similar level, but none with the unquestionable superiority of Messi

2016 09 09 Retrieve

[Xavi tells why former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi remains the best player in world football] Ronaldo is a player of his time, the problem is that there is another who has been pretty much the best player in history. Ronaldo is extraordinary but compared to Messi, for me and for everyone who likes football, there can be no comparisons. Messi will be number one until he wants [to stop]. He’s superior to everyone and is the best in the world, unless you are Real Madrid

2016 09 14 Retrieve

[Quotes on Luis Suarez] He has goals in his blood. I have said that more will come. He will start scoring goals. He reminds me a bit, with his killer instinct to damage other teams, of Samuel Eto’o, that bad mood, that personality, that persistence

2016 09 15 Retrieve

[Quotes on Luis Suarez] I think he is an extraordinary person and I think he can make the difference on his own. He dribbles past two or three players on his own, which is difficult to find in today’s game. He is a natural leader and a very nice person in the dressing room. I think it is an extraordinary purchase and he will definitely make a difference

2017 03 08 Retrieve

[Quotes on John Terry in Chelsea FC v SL Benfica - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final] I have not always been complimentary about how Chelsea play, because it is the opposite of what we stand for at Barcelona. But I can’t deny that Terry is one of the most committed English players I’ve played against, and a great leader for club and country

2017 03 11 Retrieve

[Xavi tells he wants to coach his former club one day] My aim is to arrive as a coach at Barcelona. You never know what will happen, it’s not only up to me. It depends on what you’re capable of, the situation, the moment, the circumstances. But my objective, what I want to do, it’s certain that it’s to work for FC Barcelona

2017 07 15 Retrieve

[Xavi makes his intentions for the future clear] I want to be a manager, I don’t want to hide it. And obviously I don’t want to hide the fact that sooner or later, I want to be manager of Barcelona. But first, I have to learn and that’s not a one month, two month or three month process, but takes years. To coach Barcelona, you have to be very, very well trained but, as I said, my dream is to sit on Barça’s bench as manager one day

2018 01 13 Retrieve

[Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi talks about Lionel Messi’s qualities] Messi understands everything. It’s a shame that they compare him with anyone else. Messi masters everything: the space, the time, where his team-mate is and his opponent. Before he used to unbalance teams with ability and his strength. Now he does it naturally: he draws you in. He sees he has a marker and he knows that the marker is afraid, waits for another to come and then he waits for just the right moment to pass it. I saw that with LeBron James. He draws you in until he has someone free. We have worked on this since we were kids, to know where the space is and where the free man is. Even Ter Stegen knows it

2018 05 26 Retrieve

[Xavi writes an open letter to Andres Iniesta to pay tribute to his former Barcelona and Spain team-mate] For me Andres is the most talented player in the history of Spain. He is a leader on the pitch, who always wants the ball. Do you know the importance of that? When many don’t want the ball anywhere near them because there is no way out, he asks for it. Andres always wants the ball. He is a blessing for his team-mates

2018 12 04 Retrieve

[Xavi on Matt Le Tissier ability] He could simply dribble past seven or eight players but without speed – he just walked past them

2019 09 28 Retrieve

[Xavi on former Barcelona team-mate Pep Guardiola] Pep Guardiola is the best coach in the world and I am a novice. The comparison happened as a player but now we can’t be compared. I am in love with Pep Guardiola’s football. You can win playing football in different ways but I like the one of City and Guardiola the most. I follow the Premier League a lot and I like it

2019 12 14 Retrieve

[Xavi on his first FIFA Club World Cup as a coach with Qatari side Al Sadd] I’d describe myself as someone who likes to have the ball. I’m there in the dugout suffering if my team doesn’t have the ball. It was the same when I played: I loved being on the ball. What I want is for my team to have control and I think you have that when you have the ball

2020 04 04 Retrieve

[Xavi Hernandez on the late Johan Cruyff] He told me that they [Barcelona] would come looking for me and gave me advice. If football is a religion, he was their god

2020 04 11 Retrieve

[on Vicente del Bosque] We love him. The group atmosphere with him around is magnificent. Vicente is the most human character I’ve ever come across in a dressing room

2020 04 11b Retrieve

[Xavi believes Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time] Messi is the best in history, but Ronaldinho is with the best. The rest follow. He [Ronaldinho] is with the best – with Ronaldo ‘Fenomeno’, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, that group

2020 04 20 Retrieve

[The importance of finding space is highlighted here by for former legendary Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez] Football is a sport in which you have to watch what is going on around you to find the best possible solution. If you do not relate to others, you do not know anything and you cannot do anything.

There is the space-time thing to apprehend in this game […] it is the possibility of controlling what you do and what others do, because you play with your head and not only with your feet. ‘But how can I find spaces if there are not any?’ There are always some. You have to move the ball from one side to the other, move, move again, and there you go, there is space.

I spent my life searching for it, finding ways. Ask where is there space? How to make it happen?

2020 04 28 Retrieve

[The Games That Defined Modern Football: Barcelona 1-0 Sampdoria (1992)] They were the generation who paved the way for us. They gave Barcelona a winning mentality

2020 05 04 Retrieve

[Lionel Messi could play until he is almost 40, according to long-time Barcelona team-mate Xavi] Lionel Messi’s still got five or seven very good years left in him. He takes good care of himself and he can keep playing until he’s 37, 38 or 39. He’ll play at the Qatar World Cup, I’m sure

[The Al Sadd boss held talks with his former employers earlier this year before Quique Setien was appointed as Ernesto Valverde’s successor] In January, it wasn’t the right moment. I had conversations with Eric Abidal [Barcelona’s sporting director] and Oscar Grau [Barcelona chief executive] and a big offer, but it wasn’t the right moment. I need a bit more experience. Coaching Barcelona is my dream. I’d like to do it one day. I’ve said that many times

[Ideally, Xavi would also see Neymar return from Paris Saint-Germain and be part of any prospective squad of his] Footballing wise, he’s in the top three or five players in the world, no doubt. He can make the difference. Let’s hope he returns to Barcelona. I’m a Barcelona fan and I want the best players there

2020 06 25 Retrieve

[Xavi’s take on Puig’s performance] The truth is that he is a boy who breathes talent. He has self-confidence, personality, does not hide and asks for the ball

2020 06 29 Retrieve

[Those Xavi comparisons just kept coming during Arthur’s impressive debut season at Camp Nou] I see myself in Arthur Melo. He thinks quickly and he still has work to do, because I improved my game at Barca and I would not have got so good in another school. But Arthur looks mature. The priority in the middle of the pitch is to not lose the ball and he makes it look easy. He plays well and steadily. I see great potential in him