Barcelona legend Xavi defends Lionel MESSI, talks Argentina national team, Marcelo GALLARDO

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Spain and FC Barcelona legend Xavi HERNANDEZ spoke about the recent criticism of Lionel MESSI by Diego MARADONA while he also spoke about the Argentina national team.

Speaking in an interview with Super Deportivo Radio, Xavi defended his former team mate while also talking about Marcelo GALLARDO. In regards to Lionel MESSI and the criticism, here’s what Xavi had to say:

“It doesn’t appear fair to me, not only to Leo but many times to all of the Argentine players. It’s obviously not easy to play in a country which has a lot of urgency, a country which hasn’t won an important title in many years and with the history behind it and MARADONA, who is a big figure and very popular in Argentina. Before, there was talk of confidence, which is very important. Now, Argentine player don’t have that when they go to their national team, be it MESSI or any other player. They have to try and be strong mentally.”

On if Lionel MESSI would have won the World Cup, if the criticism wouldn’t have existed:

“Obviously, there are a lot of people that talk but don’t understand football. Listen, what do they watch? They just look at the results. MESSI has played in a final of a World Cup, two Copa’s America. It’s not only MESSI, because he doesn’t play alone, it’s the Argentina national team, they are competing, they don’t get eliminated in the first round. It’s very difficult, there’s only one champion. Listen, does that mean that the rest are all failures, a disaster?”

Xavi was also asked if he thinks Lionel MESSI will go back to the Argentina national team:

“Yes, I think so. Why not? He also needs time to reflect, to rest and in the end, it’s his decision and of the current coach. He’s the best player in the world and in my opinion, the best in history and he has the last word. I believe yes, sooner or later, he will want to go back to the Argentina national team because he is a very competitive person and he will want to try and win something with Argentina. He will go back.”

In regards to the criticism by Diego MARADONA when he said that Lionel MESSI is not a leader:

“MESSI to me, appears to be an incredible leadeer, off the pitch just like on it. Maybe he’s a more silent leader within the dressing room but he’s an absolute leader, he always wants the ball, he’s always available, he has personality. I don’t like it when former players are so critical with former team mates, I’m not saying it in MARADONA’s case, but in general. Because these former players that make these comments and are very critical of their mates which share the same profession, because they were there, they know the difficulties, I don’t understand such harsh criticism from a player when you also went through it.”

Xavi was also asked about Marcelo GALLARDO:

“I liked him when he played, he was a player with a lot of talent, he surely had to think because physically, he wasn’t strong. I think he’s an intelligent person, that thinks and wants to play the football which we like in Barcelona. He appears to be a person with a big personality and he is destined to succeed.”

On if Marceloa GALLARDO can one day coach Barcelona:

“You never know, there have been a few Argentine coaches. The last one was “Tata” MARTINO, also there was MENOTTI for several years, you never know the future. The Argentine player and the Argentine coach does not have to be envious of anyone, they always work well, be it the coaches or the players.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. Every team, every country there are people who criticize, not only in Argentina.
    Real men live with criticism, they dont cry, they shut up people.
    Soft men quit, cry and make themselves victims.
    This is a ruthless world, nothing will be given to you, you have to crawl and fight to earn it.

    • Criticizing is one thing that exist, naturally.
      BUT demeaning, degrading, cursing, mocking, debasing, discrediting, devaluing, cheapening, abusing, humiliating, dishonoring players, their families, friends, and fan base IS a mental, psychological and emotional imbalance disorder.

    • Like i said, a minority of the Argentina fan base is filled with petulant spoiled brats that think the world cup is a god given right. Anything less means ABSOLUTE FAILURE, according to that wonderful group. i can’t begin to explain just how moronic it is…. For example, if Higuain scored THE goal against Germany, Messi would be undisputed GOAT, national hero, etc. But because Higuain missed, Messi isn’t, instead he’s pecho frio, loser mentality, etc.. Same applies to the entire team. The logic makes no EFFIN sense.

      There is no doubt that when compared to other countries, Argentina has a very vocal minority of supporters that are absolutely toxic. Combine them with the toxic media and it’s obviously going to have an impact on the soul and spirit of the team. So, knowing this information, we as supporters have 2 choices: 1) be part of the problem and continue destroying team moral or 2) support the team during hard times. You chose, my friend.

      • I am one of those people who mostly criticize. Not because I like it or think am better. I just think we never did everything to win. I am sure if Armani started from game 1, Pezzella started from game 1, Paredes started (never has played with messi- just 15 min), lo celso played, Lanzini didnt get injured and all those guys played we would have a better team. Still the coach and the fans wanted rojo, biglia mascherano(i can understand he is a legend), and some others. It was clearly the wrong decision and making those political decisions who had nothing to do with sport ability is not giving 100%. Everybody who inows football saw a disaster coming. If they had done everything and still failed I would be sad but not mad at them. For example the last game against Brazil, the team did everything it could and lost. That is their current capability. We are rebuilding and we will see improvements. If not the voach must make the decision to always improve. You must do your best and we never do that. Of course people are upset then when we lose. The arrogance discarding all the players I mentioned before the world was criminal to say the least. Of course you are going to criticized when you think you knew better and fail.

  2. “BEFORE, THERE WAS TALK OF CONFIDENCE, WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT. NOW, ARGENTINE PLAYER DON’T HAVE THAT WHEN THEY GO TO THEIR NATIONAL TEAM, BE IT MESSI OR ANY OTHER PLAYER. THEY HAVE TO TRY AND BE STRONG MENTALLY.”

    … and it seems that relates to the younger players,too.
    How players will be playing freely in the NT knowing that they are, their families and their reputation always under constant bashing, degrading, and mockery from Media and fans.
    Go watch last match again and again. You will see, clearly that players were losing confidence, in themselves. MAybe now you guys see why such players mostly perform better for their clubs, and when they come to the NT, they always misfire.

    • Well put, Ebo. Couldn’t agree more.

      These players bleed albiceleste, give it their all, but Argentina supporters seem to be unique in their criticism. It’s as if they think the #1 spot is a God given right, like it’s owed to them and when it doesn’t go their way, they behave like nasty monkeys throwing poop. Not only do players deal with a minor horrible fan base, but theyre up against a relentless ruthless toxic Argentine media. I don’t think other countries treat their players as bad Argentina…

      These fans and the media are absolutely part of problem. Can you imagine the difference in mentality if players were welcomed and applauded after loses.

      • ” but theyre up against a relentless ruthless toxic Argentine media.”

        Only a rational thinking person who can strip his heart of any hate/affection towards certain players,clubs or National teams can see that. I know many people who relentlessly attack Argentine players just because they don’t like Argentina as a nation. Or because they support a club that usually gets hammered by some Argentine players of rival clubs

        • Espn Martin Liberman… fox sports
          Some English speaking journalisty
          Based in South America they don’t
          Like Arg mainly is jealousy.. cos
          Arg produce talent after talant without real project in place..

  3. “OBVIOUSLY, THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT TALK BUT DON’T UNDERSTAND FOOTBALL. LISTEN, WHAT DO THEY WATCH? THEY JUST LOOK AT THE RESULTS. MESSI HAS PLAYED IN A FINAL OF A WORLD CUP, TO TWO COPA’S AMERICA. IT’S NOT ONLY MESSI, BECAUSE HE DOESN’T PLAY ALONE, IT’S THE ARGENTINA NATIONAL TEAM, THEY ARE COMPETING, THEY DON’T GET ELIMINATED IN THE FIRST ROUND. IT’S VERY DIFFICULT, THERE’S ONLY ONE CHAMPION. LISTEN, DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE REST ARE ALL FAILURES, A DISASTER”

    Yes Xavi, now only if the vocal minority of petulant spoiled brat Argentina supporters understood this.

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