Xavi critical of Real Madrid ahead of Champions League return leg

09:52, May 03, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Barcelona's Spain international midfielder Xavi Hernandez criticized the decision taken by Real Madrid to denounce several of his teammates for unsporting behaviour following Barca's 2-0 win in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium last week.

UEFA on Monday rejected Real Madrid's claims, which aimed to see Seydou Keita, Sergio Busquets, Pedro Rodriguez and Dani Alves suspended for feigning injuries, or in the case of Keita, pushing Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa as the teams went into the dressing rooms at halftime in a tense match.

Speaking on Monday ahead of Tuesday's return leg in the Camp Nou Stadium, Xavi applauded UEFA for their decision, but criticized Real Madrid for their unsporting attitude after the game.

"It's lamentable. We have always respected our rivals. I think it is lamentable because this kind of denouncement takes you nowhere and obviously UEFA have thrown it out. Madrid are playing another game apart from football," said Xavi in his side's pre- match press conference.

"We try and play attractive attacking football, it's what people want to see, not a team that sits back and defends," added the midfielder, who also criticized Madrid's tactics of growing the grass long in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and then refusing to water it in an attempt to make the ball move more slowly and thus prejudice Barca's passing game.

"Fans don't want to see dry, long grass on the pitch. I think it's dreadful that there are no rules to control it," continued Xavi, who didn't want to speak too much about Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, who has become a hate figure for Barcelona fans.

"Madrid have their coach, he is controversial and he always has been," he commented.

Mourinho is suspended for the game after being sent off for protesting Pepe's red card in Madrid last Wednesday. As a result Madrid's pre-game press conference was given by assistant coach Aitor Karanka.

Karanka continued Madrid's policy of victimism, which began in the Bernabeu last week and he complained UEFA had thrown out his club's attempt to see Busquets, Alves and company suspended. "After the UEFA decision, the game has had to take second place. If an organization has as its aims, respect and fair play and then doesn't sanction something that is obvious. There are values in football and so the game takes secondary importance," said Karanka.

Finally Barca coach Pep Guardiola also addressed the press. " Real Madrid have 109 years of history, but that doesn't give them the right to say who can and who can't play. If Madrid want to appeal they have got judicial services to do so, we on the other hand will go out on the pitch and try to play football," said Guardiola.

Source: Xinhua
BRICS Leaders  Meeting 2011
Japan in  aftershocks
  Weekly review  
April 23   Pictures catch ancient & cultural heritage of a Sichuan town
April 28   Will China's rise lead to the decline of U.S.?
April 25   Kunming-Singapore High-Speed Railway begins construction
April 25   Chinese path -- a marvel of world's economic growth
April 23   The week in pictures
April 26   Second excavation to sunken 'Nan'ao No 1' finished
April 27   Guizhou girl designs tea set for Prince William's wedding
April 26   PLA reserve force Type 07 uniform makes debut in Beijing
April 28   Old friends eye for new & higher levels of cooperation
April 29   Shanghai auto show closes


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden dead
  • BRICS Leaders' Meeting 2011
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Singer Song Zuying to hold concert in Taipei on Mother's Day
  • Greek government unveils plan against tax evasion
  • Four killed, 11 injured in blast in NW Pakistan
  • British gov't expels Libyan ambassador in London
  • Visitors view creations made of waste parts in Nanjing Int'l Auto Exhibition
Hot Forum Dicussion