Real Madrid must play more as a team – Barcelona’s Xavi
Barcelona midfielder tells the Catalan club's arch rivals they must shift their focus away from individual stars
Xavi HernÃ¡ndez has told Real Madrid they must adopt a more collective approach if they are to dislodge Barcelona from the pinnacle of Spanish football
José Mourinho’s side, who are currently fifth in the table – a point behind BarÃ§a, are desperate to prevent the Catalan giants from claiming their fourth successive La Liga crown this season.
And Xavi believes the Spanish capital club will have to shift their focus from individual stars and onto the team as a whole in order to stand any chance of catching Pep Guardiola’s men this term.
“The biggest difference is the emphasis on individuals,” Xavi told Der Tagesspiegel. “That makes them currently the opposite of the way we play in Barcelona.
“You see, we have great individuals like Lionel Messi, who can single-handedly turn a game around, but we are still a lot more about our unity and our collectivism.
“Madrid, however, try to win games with individual class. For us, it is about the collective.”
But the 31-year-old Barcelona midfielder rejects the claim that Real are trying to emulate their style of play.
“In Madrid’s case, it is not merely that they wanted to copy us,” Xavi continued. “They attacked us early, because they have done so for four or five years, whether under Manuel Pellegrini or Jose Mourinho.
“Real Madrid players are extremely talented individuals and can turn the game in their favour.”