Xavi Hernandez gave a juicy interview to Catalan Radio in which he talked about Barcelona and the club's rivalry with Real Madrid.
Of Real coach Jose Mourinho, Xavi said, "He does not fit in the Barca game. I love him because he has been here three years, but his soccer is not what we want. Theirs is more speculation, they do the opposite, and for that it's my opinion that it won't last in history."
Xavi also spoke highly of new coach Tito Vilanova, saying, "Between Pep (Guardiola) and Tito there are few differences, in questions of tactics they are both the same. Guardiola was closer during training, and Vilanova is more distant, but he he is able to relate in his way. Tito has surprised me because he's very prepared, with clear ideas and the philosophy of Barca intact."
He added he owed a great deal to Guardiola: "Without detracting from Tito, we miss Pep. For me he was a reference as a player and coach. He helped me with my soccer movement and he was a leader in the locker room, and also he gave strong leadership."
Of Lionel Messi he said, "In the Barca locker room Messi is not in charge, he is one of the quietest people. He's an extraordinary person. He's No. 1. For me he's the best player in history and has surpassed all the others. He scores goals and looks out for the team. He's a reference, there is no color. He's the best by a large margin, and his game is much more transcendant than that of Cristiano (Ronaldo)."
- Besides being one of the most successful managers, Jose Mourinho is also known for his outsbursts, controversial statements about other managers, and occasional violent actions. Here are some of those moments: Photo: Especial Terra
- The most recent case with Brazilian midfielder Kaka, who has already declared war on Real Madrid, because he was kept off the first team squad. The feud has reached the point that the Brazilian categorizes Mourinho as "a bad person". Photo: AP
- Another of the most memorable outbursts was against Tito Vilanova, current coach of Barcelona, who Mourinho stuck a finger in the eye of during the final of the Supercopa of Spain, when Vilanova was assistant to Pep Guardiola. Vilanova forgave him, but the ex-Catalan president, Joan Laporta, considereded him a traitor for having attacked from behind. Photo: Reproducción
- But Mourinho's controversial statements are nothing new, as demonstrated when his resume was criticized and he said, 'I have no resume? Who won the Champions League? It was me (with Porto). I am The Special One.' Photo: Getty Images
- In 2006, when Mourinho was the manager at Chelsea, he said that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was too concerned with Chelsea. 'I think Wenger is a voyeur, he only talks about Chelsea,' Mourinho said. Photo: Getty Images
- Mourinho also said that Manchester United benefitted vfrom arbitration. Ferguson responded: 'I think Mourinho should sew his mouth shut.' The two later made peace. Photo: Getty Images
- Another manager Mourinho had problems with was Rafa Benitez, who when he succeeded him at Inter, the Portuguese said: 'I thought he was going to thank me for the title I gave him,' referring to the Champions League. Photo: Getty Images
- As the manager at Real Madrid, he accused Sporting Gijon of losing a match purposely to Barcelona. Gijón's manager, Manolo Preciado (pictured), said that Mourinho was a scoundrel and a bad person.' Photo: Getty Images
- Mourinho's also had problems with the Barcelona players. When coaching at Chelsea, he gave Carles Puyol a 'friendly' slap in the face. Photo: Getty Images
- Of course, Pep guardiola has also been a target of Mourinho's comments. When Barca won its first Champions League title under Pep Guardiola, Mourinho credited the referees, saying, 'He won a Champions League title I would have been ashamed to win.' Photo: Getty Images