Barcelona legend, Xavi Hernandez, says his former rival club in Spain, Real Madrid, played “like a small team” in the El Classico against his former club.
The Spanish giant, Madrid defeated Barcelona by 2-1 in a keenly contested match as it was crucial to the La Liga title.
Madrid head coach, Zinedine Zidane, opted for a cautious approach as they came from behind to beat their arch-rivals at Camp Nou. The victory is one that helped reignite the La Liga title race and has made the title race one that will end in the final minutes of the season. With two games left this season, Madrid are in third place with 84 points, Atletico and Barcelona are a point ahead but the Catalan giant are atop due to goals’ difference.
However, Xavi believes that style – along with the tactics of Atletico Madrid – would not be accepted at Barca. He told beIN SPORTS:
“Real Madrid played like a small team in the Clasico at Camp Nou.
“A big team like Barcelona should not be playing like Atletico Madrid. Big teams like Barcelona and Madrid should always stick to their own style. You cannot start playing like Atletico.
“[Atletico coach Diego] Simeone perfectly sets his team up to counter their opponents’ strengths, but I don’t like to see teams who shut up shop at the back.
“Barcelona fans would not understand it if they were to change their style of play. They are used to it that Barcelona are in charge and create 15 to 20 chances per game. Barcelona’s style is non-negotiable,” the 36-year old player currently with Al Sadd sports club said. The legendary Spaniard midfielder played for Barcelona after breaking into the first team, from 1998 till he left in 2015.