Xavi issues a return invoice to Simeone

They hugged at first. And also at the end. But the pulse was already established almost six years ago when Simeone, in an unexpected gesture, took out an old invoice towards Xavi. Invoice that was returned yesterday at the Camp Nou with a volcanic meeting that left the best image of Barça. With and without ball. With the ball, Barça played one of the best games in the coach’s new era.

“It was a very complete match, we needed it. Both the players, the fans and Barcelona supporters. But we must be very humble”, stressed Xavi, who also greeted Simeone at the end of the match, a match that puts the Barça team in the champion zone.

“Cholo is a great coach, playing what he wants to play, look what he has won. I am a rookie and I have a lot of respect for him,” Xavi stressed. But the rookie prevented the expert Simeone (three months at Barça before more than a decade at Atlético) from winning at the Camp Nou.

“It’s not a bite or a taunt or anything. Any plan is legal. He feels comfortable without the ball and I sweat if I don’t have it”

Xavi, Barça coach

“We don’t get along on the field and it’s not a criticism,” said the Barça coach, taking the discussion to the philosophical field, beyond personal issues.

50 minutes, 4 goals

“What Simeone is looking for is antagonistic to ours. Years ago he said he didn’t like our training sessions. It’s not a sting or a taunt or anything. Any plan is lawful. He feels comfortable without the ball and I sweat if I don’t have it” added the coach. Simeone, curiously, did not expect the return bill to arrive so quickly. And less after Carrasco’s 0-1.

“We have already beaten a great playing well, but we have to be humble”

Xavi, Barça coach

In less than 50 minutes he had conceded four Barça goals from the ‘rookie Xavi’, betraying his profound defensive fragility. “No”, he replied dryly and curtly when asked if the Barça team had been superior.

“I speak of forcefulness. The forcefulness supports everything. They had four and scored three and we had four and scored one. If Joao Félix had scored his, now you would say that the counterattack is good,” Cholo sentenced before leaving for Madrid evicted from the Champions zone and unable, one more year, to win at the Camp Nou.

“Win a Big One”

Xavi, meanwhile, enjoyed the game wonderfully because he discovered two Barças. “I am very happy with the two games. With 11 games we have attacked very well,” argued the coach. “We have already beaten a great by playing well and it could be a turning point”, he stressed later, appealing, at all times, to “humility”.

But from the defense of football conviction without being intimidated by Simeone’s wisdom in other football. “There are 200,000 ways to play football and they are all legal. He understands it differently,” reiterated Xavi, determined to endorse his proposal, despite the old invoice dusted off by Simeone.

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“In the first part you saw one team and the other without further ado”, he said later to praise the footballing ability that Barça offered to overcome Carrasco’s initial goal, the coach criticizing that “pair of heels” that cost him dearly team, although he later boasted of “defensive solidarity”.


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