FC Barcelona – Xavi on Jose Mourinho, Lionel Messi and Tito Vilanova

Despite having the Clasico behind us, at least for a few months before the rematch at the Santiago Bernabeu or some cup/Champions League meeting, there’s been quite a lot of talking from both sides. Next up? Xavi of Barcelona, sharing his thoughts on Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho, the whole Lionel Messi – Cristiano Ronaldo debate and the new head coach, Tito Vilanova.

Maybe it’s because the Clasico ended in a draw, but it looks like the two sides are trying to get some sort of decision being made through the media. Maybe it’s about the race for the Ballon d’Or between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, or maybe it’s just a trash talking thing.

Interviewed by a Catalan radio station, Xavi had a bit to say on the man with an opinion on everything, while everyone has an opinion of him: I like Mourinho since he’s been coaching in Spain for nearly three years now, but his style is not something we would like to see implemented with Barcelona. Real Madrid base their game on anticipating their rivals and reacting to what their opponents do, and that is why that his particular Real side, Mourinho’s team, will not be remembered for a very long time.

He didn’t say that this Barcelona team will be remembered years from now, but it’s was easy to see what he was meaning.

Xavi also doesn’t have a shadow of a doubt regarding who is the best player in the world: Lionel Messi, by far, is the greatest player in the world. Not just now, but ever. Anyone who knows a little bit about football knows he’s a much more important player than Cristiano Ronaldo and in my opinion, he’s already past Pele, Maradona and Cruyff.

Finally, Xavi addressed the changes in the manager positions, with Tito Vilanova taking over for Pep Guardiola.

They’re both very similar in their approach to the match and their general philosophy about how the game should be played. Tito surprised me. It’s only his first season as a head coach but he seems to be very prepared for the role. Not taking anything away from him, I miss Pep because he gave me a lot and was a very strong figure in the dressing room. 

Don’t worry. A response from the Spanish Capital won’t take long to reach the headlines, especially on a slow international week.