Xavi ‘doesn’t like Atleti style’

Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has accused Atletico Madrid of playing too defensively as “I don’t enjoy watching teams who shut up shop”.

Atleti’s style of play under Diego Simeone has divided opinion, despite their significant progress, with their commitment to the cause countered by a perceived over-physicality, and Xavi – while praising their Coach for his management style – admitted he disliked Los Colchoneros’ approach.

“I’m happy [at Al Sadd], I think I was 100 percent right to come here,” the Al Sadd midfielder told BeIN Sports.

“Barcelona already looked like champions when taking into account the lead they had on Real Madrid.

“I have doubts over whether I’ll be a Coach. My feeling at the moment is that I’m still a player.

“Physically [Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi] are perfect, but on the issue of team play, Messi is well ahead.

“Leo’s a good guy, who is honest, not deceitful, noble, professional and hates losing. He’s mad about football and sad when he’s not playing.

“[On social media], Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope … that’s not football.

“[Johan Cruyff] is the father of everyone at Barca and the patriarch of our philosophy.

“[On Atleti’s style of play], I don’t enjoy watching teams who shut up shop.

“[Spain] won the World Cup by winning 0-1, 1-0 and 0-1 but playing good football.

“Simeone’s great merit is that he perfectly counteracts the qualities of the opposing team.

“I’ve always wanted to play and even fought with Pep [Guardiola] sometimes when he asked me to rest and I wanted to play.”

Tags Xavi Hernandez