Xavi: We are proud of the academy
Barcelona midfielder, Xavi Hernandez defended the club’s youth system after fellow Spanish national teammate, Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, stated that the Catalans should not boast about fielding 11 youth players against Levante several weeks ago, as it is not reoccurring.
- By Tom Conn Follow @TomConnISF
“I respect Iker and he’s my friend, but I disagree. We have every reason to boast about the academy – we put our faith in it and are proud of the work carried out. Eight or nine of the graduates of the Barça academy have gone on to win the European Championship and World Cup and have been the backbone of the national team, so they ought to be proud of Barcelona’s academy over in Madrid, too. They have played a big part in all that success.”
Xavi then discussed the threat Casillas and Real Madrid pose for Barcelona, despite the 11 point difference in the table.
“Atlético and [Real] Madrid are both contenders, I’m not counting out [Real] Madrid by any stretch of the imagination. The away games keep getting tougher to win. Madrid always rises to the challenge, there is a long way to go and it’s way too early to get out the crystal ball and start speculating.”
Xavi concluded by praising teammates and Balon d’Or finalists, Andres Iniesta, who Xavi feels that “for everything he’s done. He’s vital for us. He is the complete, modern footballer,” while labeling forward Leo Messi as the “the difference maker.”