Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi has given a revealing interview to FourFourTwo (via the Echo) in which he praises English football and singles out Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana for praise.
The 36-year-old currently plays in Qatar, but is rightly regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation, winning practically everything available with club and country over the past decade.
Xavi said that England “could be an outside bet at the Euros,” partly because Lallana is “a quality player”.
“English football has always been in Spain’s retina,” he continued.
“England breathes football in a way Spain doesn’t. In England, a footballer is like a god.”
“I remember watching John Barnes at Liverpool – wow, what a player he was.”
Xavi mentioned a time when he faced Liverpool in 2001, claiming our support for the team, despite losing 3-1, was jaw-dropping.
“The fans remained for the whole game and never stopped applauding their team. I couldn’t believe it. I was speechless,” he concluded.
It’s great to see figures such as Xavi with such complimentary things to say about the club, and his opinions on Lallana are especially interesting.
Lallana is a Spanish style player, with brilliant technical ability and a keenness to slow down the game and keep possession – even in tight areas.
It’s sometimes caused frustration in England, but his performances in recent months have been much improved.
Now, the 27-year-old is adding goals and assists to a polished all-round game which includes manic pressing and the skill to turn a player inside out.
He’s a certainty to start for Liverpool this evening verses Borussia Dortmund, and we can only hope he continues to show Europe just what he can do.
Tonight will be one of the biggest games of the former League One midfielder’s life…