Date: 11th February 2011 at 2:26am
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Barcelona’s Xavi has seen and done it all.

Domestic honours, European as well as international nothing has eluded him in his career at the Nou Camp thus he is rightly respected as not only one of the best midfielders in the game but the best players full stop. His talent is undeniable as he is able to retain the ball and use it like it is an extension of his body, putting it anywhere on the pitch that he pleases.

Although I’m not sure about the authenticity of this story, AS reported after El Clasico in November he went up to Lass Diarra and held out the match ball telling the Madrid midfielder ‘here, now you can touch it’ after the midfielder put in a shift chasing shadows as Xavi and co passed the ball around him.

A classy player, Xavi clearly has an eye for special talent as he reeled off a list of some of his favourite players in the Daily Mail ahead of his trip to London next week for Barca’s tie with Arsenal in the Champions League:

Rooney, Scholes, Cesc (Fabregas), Nasri and Giggs. I was also a big fan of John Barnes, Chris Waddle and Matt Le Tissier. And although it is a different style, I liked the Paul Ince and Roy Keane partnership Manchester United had. They would have been my team had I moved to England.

United as he said would have been his team of choice had he moved here so it’s no surprise that he saved special praise for none other than Paul Scholes. In discussing football with a friend he remarked it is the players who don’t play like Englishmen that are standouts in this country and whilst harsh Xavi’s words add some credence to this:

“In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen — the most complete — is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times. Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything. He can play the final pass, he can score, he is strong, he never gets knocked off the ball and he doesn’t give possession away. If he had been Spanish then maybe he would have been valued more.”

I think as United fans we have banged on about how criminally under rated Scholes is for years (I was genuinely compelled to fight when someone told me Gerrard is a better player than Scholes has ever been!) so it’s a shame people will only start to sit up and realise now someone like Xavi has said it rather than seeing with their own eyes. At 36 Scholes is coming to the end of his career but he would still be a stand out in most teams as what he can do with a ball should be illegal.

I’m sure I don’t need to pull up the quotes from football’s biggest and brightest names singing his praise. I simple recommend that we appreciate him now not just as United fans but football fans because players of his elk are rare.


8 responses to “Barcelona’s Xavi on Paul Scholes and Manchester United”

  1. Andrew says:

    I don’t think it would be a disaster to say gerrard is a better or just as good a player as scholes. they are both really great players, though scholes has obviously won a lot more. But very similar the two are, both great technique, more than an eye for a spectacular goal, and are box to box midfielders in their prime. Though scholes can’t tackle to save his life, we all know that!

    • Chudi says:

      I do, this concept of Gerrard being blood and guts and dragging his team through games has people fooled.
      If you read Xavi’s full interview he puts it into perspective way better than I can. Going on ability it’s Scholes ever single time. You point to Scholes not being able to tackle, I think Gerrard’s ability to play a pass is nowhere near Scholes, when Scholes plays a ball 95% of the time it is get on with play but with Gerrard its get the ball under control first then get on with play.

      It’s little things like that that people don’t appreciate.

      • jonathan says:

        The very fact that someone jumps saying Gerrard is as good or better than Scholes only strengthens Xavi’s point that many English fans are misguided.
        There’s barely a couple things Gerrard does better than Scholes, and certainly Scholes trumps him in many more ways. But when attributes like possession, decision making and consistent passing are undervalued I guess you’ll end up thinking this way.

  2. A says:

    Gerrard will play a outstanding pass in a certain direction.
    Scholes, however, will play an outstanding pass – to feet, to the very toes – you don’t have to work hard to receive one of his passes which, I think, like Chudi mentions, is one of those little things that somehow is not appreciated.

  3. viva chicharito says:

    Gerrard on his day is world class. But can you name me the last time he dominated a game? Gerrad has been finished for the last 2 years not the player he was and he is not consistent. Scholes all his career has performed at the highlest level and even at the age of 36 he still runs the show for united. Gerrard dosent come no where near. You cant even mention the two in the same sentence. Scholes as ticked united for years. Scholes anyday over Gerrard. Gerrard has one good game and the press dont stop talking about it. England have never been the same since scholes retired. SCHOLES OVER GERRARD ANY DAY!!

  4. bruk says:

    yap xavi, u r right u r plain the typical style of that man u must be fan of our united i would love to have u ther, at Ot u r the exact replacement of that unereplacable man

  5. Zaky says:

    I luv xavi so much.ther is notin as gud as a player of his calibre sayin d igbo adage sayz wat an old man sees whil sitin a young man even afta climbin a tree canot c it.gerrard is gud,xavi n scholes ar d best.

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