Xavi exposes fractures in Spain squad

Xavi has exposed the tensions between the Barcelona and Real Madrid contingent in the Spanish squad ahead of their European title defence by taking a swipe at Jose Mourinho.

The Barcelona playmaker admitted his club captain, Carles Puyol, and national coach Vicente del Bosque had to intervene to repair fractured morale between club rivals.
Those strains are unlikely to be assisted by Xavi’s latest assessment of Madrid’s recent title triumph as merely “efficient” and his questioning of Mourinho’s status.
“Mourinho won’t go down in football history,” said Xavi. “For me Guardiola is the best, and he has been during the four years he’s been in charge at Barça, because he’s revolutionised football.
“Barça continue to be the reference point for football the world over. Barça has also been an example, Madrid not so much. They’ve only recognised that we were better when we won.
"We’ve always been respectful, but they haven’t been so gracious. It’s a personal feeling.”

In an interview on Canal+, Xavi said Barcelona’s 5-0 La Liga annihilation of Madrid in 2010 — which he described as “the best moment of the Guardiola era” - damaged relationships in the Spain squad.
“It caused problems with some of my friends,” he said. “Puyol and Del Bosque were important in making sure everything settled down in the end.”


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