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Author Topic: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder  (Read 4071 times)

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Offline Football supporter

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Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« on: February 11, 2011, 08:13:48 AM »
Barcelona superstar Xavi has said Manchester United's Paul Scholes is the best midfielder to grace world football over the last 20 years.

 
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the Ballon D'Or finalist gushed about the Manchester United man's qualities - saying that he is beyond compare.

"In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen - the most complete - is Scholes," he said.

"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."

Xavi, who will line up for Barcelona against Arsenal next week in the Champions League, expressed his admiration for a number of other Premier League players.

"(Wayne) Rooney, Scholes, Cesc (Fabregas), (Samir) Nasri and (Ryan) Giggs," he listed as his favourites.

"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."

Xavi also said there are some key differences between how footballers are perceived in Spain and in England.

"You are a nation of warriors. If I go to Liverpool’s ground and someone puts the ball into the area and Carragher hammers it out of play then the fans applaud. In the Camp Nou you would never be applauded for that," said the World Cup winner.

"I do see it changing slightly. Before, the typical No.9 in England was a Crouch or a Heskey and it was a long ball from the back from a Terry or a Carragher and nothing in between.

"I don’t want to be misunderstood. I have huge admiration for both Terry and Carragher. We have (Carles) Puyol here. Technically he is not the best player in the squad but he is a great defender.

"Players like Terry and Carragher are very necessary but they have to adapt to the team as opposed to the team adapting to them. In some ways what these players do has even more merit because to me it comes naturally."

Offline Flex

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2011, 09:37:51 AM »
Kindly post your source... or else it will get deleted.

Thanx... ;)
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Offline rotatopoti3

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2011, 10:29:41 AM »
I taught football supporter wuz d journalist yes
Ah say it, how ah see it

Offline weary1969

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 10:37:48 AM »
I taught football supporter wuz d journalist yes

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Offline Small Magician aka Wazza

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2011, 10:40:03 AM »
Good stuff Xavi... I remember when we were linked with him.. would have been nice... I respect loyalty though  :beermug:

Offline Madd Ras#13

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 11:25:56 AM »
all dat is necessary is necessary

Offline kicker

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 11:37:16 AM »
Scholes- very solid player- tremendous shooting ability... The guy can strike the ball!!

It's a mystery why he hung up his int'l boots so early...

Only weakness is he's known for horrible tackling
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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 12:53:22 PM »
Scholes- very solid player- tremendous shooting ability... The guy can strike the ball!!

It's a mystery why he hung up his int'l boots so early...

Only weakness is he's known for horrible tackling

Allegedly he retired because Sven started playing him on the left wing (out of position) so he could accommodate Lampard and Gerrard in the middle! He became disenchanted with the whole set up, plus it affected his game.

Offline Mango Chow!

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 08:14:51 PM »
Xavi being waaaaaaaaay overly gracious!!


Not because a man ears long and he teet' long dat it make him a Jackass!

Offline morgz

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 08:58:38 AM »
Xavi being waaaaaaaaay overly gracious!!
Not really, although he has not won a lot of individual awards his consistency as a player outlasts many who rise to prominence and begin to falter after a few seasons. That alone in my and many others opinion makes him a candidate for such a title.

Offline kicker

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2011, 04:38:21 PM »
Xavi being waaaaaaaaay overly gracious!!

I could see why Xavi would like a player like Scholes.

Scholes is a less visionary version of Xavi...but with a better shot on goal.  They are both very technical players who hold tightly to the middle of the park and keep the ball moving- hardly ever giving it away. 

In his prime, Scholes was up there with the best at what he did... but I'd say his stock has fallen pretty sharply in the last  2 seasons or so..

At their best, they would complement each other very well in the middle of the field. 
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Offline Mango Chow!

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2011, 05:02:30 PM »
Xavi being waaaaaaaaay overly gracious!!

I could see why Xavi would like a player like Scholes.

Scholes is a less visionary version of Xavi...but with a better shot on goal.  They are both very technical players who hold tightly to the middle of the park and keep the ball moving- hardly ever giving it away. 

In his prime, Scholes was up there with the best at what he did... but I'd say his stock has fallen pretty sharply in the last  2 seasons or so..

At their best, they would complement each other very well in the middle of the field. 


Yeah, Kicker, I hear yuh.....I can appreciate Xavi's appreciation for a man like scholes and he mighta really even been "up there" with the best....but to say that he actually WAS the best over the last 20 years?  I think that's a stretch, even if you want to heap loads more credit on him than he may deserve.  There's no WAY that scholes is/was/has been a greater MF than men like: Seedorf, Veron, Jay Jay Okocha, Diego Simione, Zidane, Georghe Hagi, to name a few, and we have to remember, within the last 20 years, Maradonna was still playin' this game eh.  Maybe scholes might have enjoyed the most longevity, but to jes' call him the best, jes' so?  Nah!  I eh buyin' dah one. 


Not because a man ears long and he teet' long dat it make him a Jackass!

Offline dotless007

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2011, 05:32:47 PM »
but i recall man like zidane rated scholsey as the best midfielder of his generation

Offline Mango Chow!

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2011, 06:00:52 PM »
but i recall man like zidane rated scholsey as the best midfielder of his generation

  Lemme arkske yuh one question....yuh pickin' a side...yuh have 10 players and yuh have to pick between Zidane and Scholes to fill the last remaining slot in midfield....attacking midfield....yuh pickin' Scholes?


Not because a man ears long and he teet' long dat it make him a Jackass!

Offline 100% Barataria

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2011, 06:38:24 PM »
but i recall man like zidane rated scholsey as the best midfielder of his generation

  Lemme arkske yuh one question....yuh pickin' a side...yuh have 10 players and yuh have to pick between Zidane and Scholes to fill the last remaining slot in midfield....attacking midfield....yuh pickin' Scholes?

plain talk
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Offline weary1969

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2011, 08:03:33 PM »
but i recall man like zidane rated scholsey as the best midfielder of his generation

  Lemme arkske yuh one question....yuh pickin' a side...yuh have 10 players and yuh have to pick between Zidane and Scholes to fill the last remaining slot in midfield....attacking midfield....yuh pickin' Scholes?

ENTTTTT
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Offline Cantona007

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2011, 08:20:57 PM »
Xavi being waaaaaaaaay overly gracious!!

I could see why Xavi would like a player like Scholes.

Scholes is a less visionary version of Xavi...but with a better shot on goal.  They are both very technical players who hold tightly to the middle of the park and keep the ball moving- hardly ever giving it away. 

In his prime, Scholes was up there with the best at what he did... but I'd say his stock has fallen pretty sharply in the last  2 seasons or so..

At their best, they would complement each other very well in the middle of the field. 

I acually think that Scholes is as visionary, especially with the long ball.
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Offline Cantona007

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2011, 08:32:39 PM »
The full interview from the Guardian. He actually intterrupts the interviewer to praise Scholes, saying as well that all the players love him. Praise for Rooney and other aspects of English football as well. I always find it more interesting what players say about their colleagues and rivals. A good football interview with a true great of the game.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/feb/11/xavi-barcelona-spain-interview/print


Many have described Barcelona's 5-0 win over Real Madrid last November as the greatest performance ever. Even Wayne Rooney admits that he stood up in his living room and started applauding.

[Xavi's face lights up].

Yeah? Really? Rooney? That makes me proud. Rooney, wow! Rooney is extraordinary, he could play for Barcelona. And before people imagine headlines like "Xavi says Rooney to join Barcelona" – although, I'd love him to! – what I mean is that he's our kind of player. That game was wonderful, the best I've played. The feeling of superiority was incredible – and against Real Madrid! They didn't touch the ball. Madre mía, what a match! In the dressing room, we gave ourselves a standing ovation.

You mention Barcelona's dominance of possession. It's tempting to conclude that we've never seen a team with an identity – for better or worse – as clear as the current Barcelona and Spain teams. It's all about possession. And that's your identity – one that seems to have become dominant.

It's good that the reference point for world football right now is Barcelona, that it's Spain. Not because it's ours but because of what it is. Because it's an attacking football, it's not speculative, we don't wait. You pressure, you want possession, you want to attack. Some teams can't or don't pass the ball. What are you playing for? What's the point? That's not football. Combine, pass, play. That's football – for me, at least. For coaches, like, I don't know, [Javier] Clemente or [Fabio] Capello, there's another type of football. But it's good that Barcelona's style is now a model, not that.

But some claimed Spain were boring at the World Cup. You kept winning 1-0.

That's upside down. It's not that we were boring, it is the other team that was. What did Holland look for? Penalties. Or [Arjen] Robben on the break. Bam, bam, bam. Of course we were boring – the opposition made it that way. Paraguay? What did they do? Built a spectacularly good defensive system and waited for chances – from dead balls. Up it goes, rebound, loose ball. It's harder than people realise when you've got a guy behind you who's two metres tall and right on top of you.

So, what's the solution?

Think quickly, look for spaces. That's what I do: look for spaces. All day. I'm always looking. All day, all day. [Xavi starts gesturing as if he is looking around, swinging his head]. Here? No. There? No. People who haven't played don't always realise how hard that is. Space, space, space. It's like being on the PlayStation. I think shit, the defender's here, play it there. I see the space and pass. That's what I do.

That's at the heart of the Barcelona model and runs all the way through the club, doesn't it? When you beat Madrid, eight of the starting XI were youth-team products and all three finalists in this year's Ballon d'Or were too – Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and you.

Some youth academies worry about winning, we worry about education. You see a kid who lifts his head up, who plays the pass first time, pum, and you think, 'Yep, he'll do.' Bring him in, coach him. Our model was imposed by [Johan] Cruyff; it's an Ajax model. It's all about rondos [piggy in the middle]. Rondo, rondo, rondo. Every. Single. Day. It's the best exercise there is. You learn responsibility and not to lose the ball. If you lose the ball, you go in the middle. Pum-pum-pum-pum, always one touch. If you go in the middle, it's humiliating, the rest applaud and laugh at you.

Your Barcelona team-mate Dani Alves said that you don't play to the run, you make the run by obliging team-mates to move into certain areas. "Xavi," he said, "plays in the future."


They make it easy. My football is passing but, wow, if I have Dani, Iniesta, Pedro, [David] Villa … there are so many options. Sometimes, I even think to myself: man, so-and-so is going to get annoyed because I've played three passes and haven't given him the ball yet. I'd better give the next one to Dani because he's gone up the wing three times. When Leo [Messi] doesn't get involved, it's like he gets annoyed … and the next pass is for him.

You're talking about style over success but not only can they go together, they have to go together, don't they? Arsenal play great football, Arsène Wenger is a hugely respected coach, but they've not won anything for years. Could that happen at Barcelona?

Almost impossible. If you go two years without winning, everything has to change. But you change names, not identity. The philosophy can't be lost. Our fans wouldn't understand a team that sat back and played on the break. Sadly, people only look at teams through success. Now, success has validated our approach. I'm happy because, from a selfish point of view, six years ago I was extinct; footballers like me were in danger of dying out. It was all: two metres tall, powerful, in the middle, knockdowns, second balls, rebounds … but now I see Arsenal and Villarreal and they play like us.

Do you see yourself as a defender of the faith? An ideologue?

It was that or die. I'm a romantic. I like the fact that talent, technical ability, is valued above physical condition now. I'm glad that's the priority; if it wasn't, there wouldn't be the same spectacle. Football is played to win but our satisfaction is double. Other teams win and they're happy, but it's not the same. The identity is lacking. The result is an impostor in football. You can do things really, really well – last year we were better than Inter Milan – but did not win. There's something greater than the result, more lasting. A legacy. Inter won the Champions League but no one talks about them. People discovered me since Euro 2008, but I've been playing the same way for years. It is true, though, that I have grown in confidence and tranquillity. And that comes with success.

Has English football suffered because it embraces a different footballing culture?

It has changed; the style's a bit more technical. But before it was direct, it was about the second ball, the typical No9 was a Crouch or a Heskey and there was no football. Carragher, boom, up top; Terry, boom, up top. I think it's changing: Barry, Lampard, Gerrard, Carrick … they are players who treat the ball well. You see them now and think, Christ, they are trying to play.

Is Paul Scholes the English Xavi?

[Xavi interrupts, almost bursting with enthusiasm] Paul Scholes! A role model. For me – and I really mean this – he's the best central midfielder I've seen in the last 15, 20 years. I've spoken to Xabi Alonso about him. He's spectacular, he has it all: the last pass, goals, he's strong, he doesn't lose the ball, vision. If he'd been Spanish he might have been rated more highly. Players love him.

England seems to mistrust technical players.

It's a pity. Talent has to be the priority. Technical ability. Always, always. Sure, you can win without it but it's talent that makes the difference. Look at the teams: Juventus, who makes the difference? Krasic. Del Piero. Liverpool? Gerrard, or Torres before. Talento. Talento. When you look at players and ask yourself who's the best: talento. Cesc, Nasri, Ryan Giggs – that guy is a joy, incredible. Looking back, I loved John Barnes and Chris Waddle was buenísimo. [Open-mouthed, eyes gleaming] Le Tissier! Although their style was different I liked Roy Keane and Paul Ince together, too. That United team was great – my English team. If I'd gone anywhere, it would have been there.

In England do we overrate physical players? You mention Carragher, Terry …

Whoa! Wait! Be careful. They're fundamental. We've got Puyol. Technically he might not be the best but it's incredible the way he defends. Carragher and Terry are necessary, brilliant, but they have to adapt to technical football [not the other way round]. For me, that comes naturally – or for Messi, Iniesta or Rooney. Others have to work at it. For them it's harder to lift their head up and play a pass – but they have to.

But when a player is offered to a club, the first question is: "how tall is he?"

Have you seen [the Villarreal winger] Santi Cazorla? You think I'm small, he's up to here on me [Xavi signals his chest]. And yet he's brilliant. Messi is the same and he's the best player in the world. Maybe it's the culture, I don't know, but in England you're warriors. You watch Liverpool and Carragher wins the ball and boots it into the stands and the fans applaud. There's a roar! They'd never applaud that here.

Next week you play Arsenal again in the Champions League last 16. Are they different? A kind of Barcelona-lite?

Arsenal are a great team. When I watch Arsenal, I see Barça. I see Cesc carry the game, Nasri, Arshavin. The difference between them and us is we have more players who think before they play, quicker. Education is the key. Players have had 10 or 12 years here. When you arrive at Barça the first thing they teach you is: think. Think, think, think. Quickly. [Xavi starts doing the actions, looking around himself.] Lift your head up, move, see, think. Look before you get the ball. If you're getting this pass, look to see if that guy is free. Pum. First time. Look at [Sergio] Busquets – the best midfielder there is playing one-touch. He doesn't need more. He controls, looks and passes in one touch. Some need two or three and, given how fast the game is, that's too slow. Alves, one touch. Iniesta, one touch. Messi, one touch. Piqué, one touch. Busi [Busquets], me … seven or eight players with one touch. Fast. In fact, [the youth coach] Charly [Rexach] always used to say: a mig toc. Half a touch.

Arsenal-Barcelona always provokes questions about Cesc Fábregas's future.

If I'd ever gone to another club, I'd have been thinking about Barcelona – the link is strong. The same is happening to him. But now there's a problem: now he's expensive. But I think that a footballer ends up playing where he wants. He has to end up here.

That's not what Arsenal fans want to hear and some have accused Barcelona players, you included, of stirring trouble. Last summer there were so many remarks supposedly coming out of Barcelona …


Really? I hardly spoke then. I imagine they wouldn't have liked that. [Xavi pauses, adding quietly, almost shamefacedly] You know, often footballers don't think. We're selfish, we don't realise. I also say it because I'm thinking of Cesc. He wants to come here. Barcelona has always been his dream. But of course he's Arsenal's captain, the standard bearer, a leader. This situation is a putada [bummer] for him. He's at a club that plays his style with Wenger who has treated him well, taught him, raised him. Cesc respects him. If he'd been at, say, Blackburn it might have been easier to leave. Look, the truth is: I want him to come here. Of course. Barcelona have a very clear style and not many footballers fit. It's not easy. But Cesc fits it perfectly.

Would he replace you, though?

I don't see new players as a threat; I don't say "this is my patch". I'm more: "bring them here, let them play". The more talent in the middle, the better. Four or five years ago [people said] me and Iniesta couldn't play together. We can't play together? Look how that one turned out.

Last year, you beat Arsenal comfortably …

Yes, but this year they're much better. I think it's a disadvantage for us that we played last year. They had [too] much respect for us. It was as if they let us have the ball; we always had it, home and away. The game in London could have been a 4-0 we dominated so much – but it finished 2-2. This year will be different.

What was your reaction to the draw?

I was happy. I like the fact that we'll see a great game. Arsenal aren't the kind of team that come to try to putear you [piss you off, break up the game, destroy the match]. If it was Chelsea, you might think Madre mía, they're going to leave the initiative to you, wait deep, close up, play on the break with Drogba and Malouda. But, no, I think Arsenal will want the ball. There will be more of a game. As a fan I'd definitely pay for a ticket to see this game. Manchester United or Chelsea would play in a more speculative way. They would leave us the ball. Arsenal won't.

Does English football attract you? Spanish players always return from there raving about it.

It's incredible. Una pasada. Now that is football. England really is the birthplace, the heart and soul of football. If Barcelona had Liverpool's fans, or Arsenal's, or United's, we'd have won 20 Champions Leagues, hahaha! OK, so that's an exaggeration but I've never seen anything like it. We won 3-1 at Liverpool once and we were both applauded off the pitch. In England, footballers are respected more, the game is more noble, there's less cheating. Every Spaniard who goes loves it – and comes back a better player. If I had ever left it would have been to England.

The final is at Wembley, which makes it even more special for Barcelona, doesn't it? Last year it was special because it was at the Bernabéu but Wembley is the scene of the Dream Team's one European Cup. And this feels like a year in which you are being constantly compared to them …


In 1992, I was 12 and my brothers went but my parents wouldn't let me. I was in tears but it made no difference. I'd love to play at Wembley. It's special for Barça – and for everyone in football. Last year was more morbosa [about the rivalry with Real Madrid, almost a little dirty, titillating]. This year is more nostalgic, more classic. And I'm more of a nostalgic. Me? I'm a romantic.

Club career

Joined Barcelona's youth system at the age of 11 and made a scoring first-team debut aged 18 in the 1998 Spanish Super Cup final. He has made 557 appearances for the club, scoring 56 goals.

Games/goals

1997-2000 Barcelona B 61/4

1998- Barcelona 557/56

Honours

2 Champions Leagues 2006, 2009

1 Club World Cup 2009

5 La Liga titles 1999, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010

1 Spanish Cup 2009

4 Spanish Super Cup 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010

1 Uefa Super Cup 2009

International career

Represented every Spain youth team from Under-17 to Under-23 level, making his senior debut in 2000 at age 20. He has scored eight goals in 99 appearances. He has also scored twice in eight matches for Catalonia

Games/goals

Spain 99/8

Catalonia 8/2

Honours

1 World Cup 2010

1 European Championship 2008

1 Under-20 World Cup 1999

Olympic silver medal 2000

Individual career

The world's best playmaker, he completed 104 passes more than the next most prolific passer at last year's World Cup which Spain won. He has made more assists than any other player in the past two La Liga and Champions League seasons

Awards

European Championship player of the tournament 2008

Champions League final man of the match 2009

Fifa World Cup All-Star Team 2010

Fifa Team of the Year 2008, 2009, 2010

Uefa Team of the Year 2008, 2009, 2010

Third place in Ballon d'Or 2009, 2010

La Liga Player of the Year 2005
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 09:04:16 PM by Cantona007 »
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Offline Mango Chow!

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2011, 11:56:17 AM »
To be honest, I is a man I like to hear what these men have to say, too but just because a man was a great footballer, it doesn't mean that any or everything that comes out his mouth regarding football makes sense.  Pele is a prime example and after the Holland-Portugal debacle in Germany '06, I put Van der Saar down as one of the greatest 'keepers I have ever seen but he eh have much wisdom. So I can respect Xavi's opinion, but I can also take it with a grain of salt.  As for the men that lookin' to rate up scholes so much for being a "visionary" and a great "shooter" or having scored nice goals with long range shooting, I could only be disdainfully amazed that allyuh want to put scholes up there ahead of the (few) names I mentioned.  What could paul scholes have possibly shown the world that Clarence Seedorf hasn't, that people would want to rate him up so high as being "the best"?
   
    When allyuh want to talk about a "visionary" midfielder with sublime passing ability that can shoot from anywhere (and has scored some of the most spectacular goals in European football), has great ball control and don't lose the ball nor can be taken off the ball easily, is able to take on 2 and 3 defenders (and score) and whose career may have dropped off over the last couple of years, and has been one of the very best midfielders in the world over the last 15-20 years or so, please doh insult a man like Seedorf so by tryin' to push scholes up in de mix nuh. (I eh even going to mention the integral role he played on them 4 CL-winning teams he played on).  Paul scholes is good.  He is very good.  He has had a long run of a career with a dominant team in European football.  He does have a knack for makin' some nice long passes when manu is on the counter and he does have a very decent shot, to say the least (but so does Lampard).....but scholes' career evaluation is no match for Seedorf's alone, much less for many other MF's out there during the same time span. He simply was NOT the best. 


Not because a man ears long and he teet' long dat it make him a Jackass!

Offline sammy

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2011, 09:01:03 PM »
To be honest, I is a man I like to hear what these men have to say, too but just because a man was a great footballer, it doesn't mean that any or everything that comes out his mouth regarding football makes sense.  Pele is a prime example and after the Holland-Portugal debacle in Germany '06, I put Van der Saar down as one of the greatest 'keepers I have ever seen but he eh have much wisdom. So I can respect Xavi's opinion, but I can also take it with a grain of salt.  As for the men that lookin' to rate up scholes so much for being a "visionary" and a great "shooter" or having scored nice goals with long range shooting, I could only be disdainfully amazed that allyuh want to put scholes up there ahead of the (few) names I mentioned.  What could paul scholes have possibly shown the world that Clarence Seedorf hasn't, that people would want to rate him up so high as being "the best"?
   
    When allyuh want to talk about a "visionary" midfielder with sublime passing ability that can shoot from anywhere (and has scored some of the most spectacular goals in European football), has great ball control and don't lose the ball nor can be taken off the ball easily, is able to take on 2 and 3 defenders (and score) and whose career may have dropped off over the last couple of years, and has been one of the very best midfielders in the world over the last 15-20 years or so, please doh insult a man like Seedorf so by tryin' to push scholes up in de mix nuh. (I eh even going to mention the integral role he played on them 4 CL-winning teams he played on).  Paul scholes is good.  He is very good.  He has had a long run of a career with a dominant team in European football.  He does have a knack for makin' some nice long passes when manu is on the counter and he does have a very decent shot, to say the least (but so does Lampard).....but scholes' career evaluation is no match for Seedorf's alone, much less for many other MF's out there during the same time span. He simply was NOT the best. 
:rotfl:
i knew it.
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Offline Mango Chow!

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2011, 08:31:37 AM »
To be honest, I is a man I like to hear what these men have to say, too but just because a man was a great footballer, it doesn't mean that any or everything that comes out his mouth regarding football makes sense.  Pele is a prime example and after the Holland-Portugal debacle in Germany '06, I put Van der Saar down as one of the greatest 'keepers I have ever seen but he eh have much wisdom. So I can respect Xavi's opinion, but I can also take it with a grain of salt.  As for the men that lookin' to rate up scholes so much for being a "visionary" and a great "shooter" or having scored nice goals with long range shooting, I could only be disdainfully amazed that allyuh want to put scholes up there ahead of the (few) names I mentioned.  What could paul scholes have possibly shown the world that Clarence Seedorf hasn't, that people would want to rate him up so high as being "the best"?
   
    When allyuh want to talk about a "visionary" midfielder with sublime passing ability that can shoot from anywhere (and has scored some of the most spectacular goals in European football), has great ball control and don't lose the ball nor can be taken off the ball easily, is able to take on 2 and 3 defenders (and score) and whose career may have dropped off over the last couple of years, and has been one of the very best midfielders in the world over the last 15-20 years or so, please doh insult a man like Seedorf so by tryin' to push scholes up in de mix nuh. (I eh even going to mention the integral role he played on them 4 CL-winning teams he played on).  Paul scholes is good.  He is very good.  He has had a long run of a career with a dominant team in European football.  He does have a knack for makin' some nice long passes when manu is on the counter and he does have a very decent shot, to say the least (but so does Lampard).....but scholes' career evaluation is no match for Seedorf's alone, much less for many other MF's out there during the same time span. He simply was NOT the best. 
:rotfl:
i knew it.


Haterz, boy, HATERZ!!  :D


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Offline Peong

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2011, 09:33:30 AM »
Xavi meant that Scholes was the world's best English midfielder.

giggsy11

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2011, 04:58:26 PM »
Xavi meant that Scholes was the world's best English midfielder.

I could take that!

Offline Mango Chow!

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2011, 05:59:40 PM »
Xavi meant that Scholes was the world's best English midfielder.

    You sure it safe to say that with all these liverpool fans arround here?  :-X


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Offline spideybuff

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2011, 07:49:18 PM »
Nah boy allyuh wrong. Xavi didn mean only english. Scholes is highly praised outside england

 I ask this question before: every player when asked about ManU always rate up Paul Scholes. All his opponents, all his teammates.

I say I doh see it, but the players know more than us. And they all rate him as the bestm including Zidane,Giggs and Fergie.

Somebody pull up that thread nah.
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Offline Bourbon

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2011, 08:11:52 PM »
Allyuh read de interview? Look it here

Many have described Barcelona's 5-0 win over Real Madrid last November as the greatest performance ever. Even Wayne Rooney admits that he stood up in his living room and started applauding.

[Xavi's face lights up]. Yeah? Really? Rooney? That makes me proud. Rooney, wow! Rooney is extraordinary, he could play for Barcelona. And before people imagine headlines like "Xavi says Rooney to join Barcelona" – although, I'd love him to! – what I mean is that he's our kind of player. That game was wonderful, the best I've played. The feeling of superiority was incredible – and against Real Madrid! They didn't touch the ball. Madre mía, what a match! In the dressing room, we gave ourselves a standing ovation.

You mention Barcelona's dominance of possession. It's tempting to conclude that we've never seen a team with an identity – for better or worse – as clear as the current Barcelona and Spain teams. It's all about possession. And that's your identity – one that seems to have become dominant.

It's good that the reference point for world football right now is Barcelona, that it's Spain. Not because it's ours but because of what it is. Because it's an attacking football, it's not speculative, we don't wait. You pressure, you want possession, you want to attack. Some teams can't or don't pass the ball. What are you playing for? What's the point? That's not football. Combine, pass, play. That's football – for me, at least. For coaches, like, I don't know, [Javier] Clemente or [Fabio] Capello, there's another type of football. But it's good that Barcelona's style is now a model, not that.

But some claimed Spain were boring at the World Cup. You kept winning 1-0.

That's upside down. It's not that we were boring, it is the other team that was. What did Holland look for? Penalties. Or [Arjen] Robben on the break. Bam, bam, bam. Of course we were boring – the opposition made it that way. Paraguay? What did they do? Built a spectacularly good defensive system and waited for chances – from dead balls. Up it goes, rebound, loose ball. It's harder than people realise when you've got a guy behind you who's two metres tall and right on top of you.

So, what's the solution?

Think quickly, look for spaces. That's what I do: look for spaces. All day. I'm always looking. All day, all day. [Xavi starts gesturing as if he is looking around, swinging his head]. Here? No. There? No. People who haven't played don't always realise how hard that is. Space, space, space. It's like being on the PlayStation. I think shit, the defender's here, play it there. I see the space and pass. That's what I do.

That's at the heart of the Barcelona model and runs all the way through the club, doesn't it? When you beat Madrid, eight of the starting XI were youth-team products and all three finalists in this year's Ballon d'Or were too – Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and you.

Some youth academies worry about winning, we worry about education. You see a kid who lifts his head up, who plays the pass first time, pum, and you think, 'Yep, he'll do.' Bring him in, coach him. Our model was imposed by [Johan] Cruyff; it's an Ajax model. It's all about rondos [piggy in the middle]. Rondo, rondo, rondo. Every. Single. Day. It's the best exercise there is. You learn responsibility and not to lose the ball. If you lose the ball, you go in the middle. Pum-pum-pum-pum, always one touch. If you go in the middle, it's humiliating, the rest applaud and laugh at you.

Your Barcelona team-mate Dani Alves said that you don't play to the run, you make the run by obliging team-mates to move into certain areas. "Xavi," he said, "plays in the future."


They make it easy. My football is passing but, wow, if I have Dani, Iniesta, Pedro, [David] Villa … there are so many options. Sometimes, I even think to myself: man, so-and-so is going to get annoyed because I've played three passes and haven't given him the ball yet. I'd better give the next one to Dani because he's gone up the wing three times. When Leo [Messi] doesn't get involved, it's like he gets annoyed … and the next pass is for him.

You're talking about style over success but not only can they go together, they have to go together, don't they? Arsenal play great football, Arsène Wenger is a hugely respected coach, but they've not won anything for years. Could that happen at Barcelona?

Almost impossible. If you go two years without winning, everything has to change. But you change names, not identity. The philosophy can't be lost. Our fans wouldn't understand a team that sat back and played on the break. Sadly, people only look at teams through success. Now, success has validated our approach. I'm happy because, from a selfish point of view, six years ago I was extinct; footballers like me were in danger of dying out. It was all: two metres tall, powerful, in the middle, knockdowns, second balls, rebounds … but now I see Arsenal and Villarreal and they play like us.

Do you see yourself as a defender of the faith? An ideologue?

It was that or die. I'm a romantic. I like the fact that talent, technical ability, is valued above physical condition now. I'm glad that's the priority; if it wasn't, there wouldn't be the same spectacle. Football is played to win but our satisfaction is double. Other teams win and they're happy, but it's not the same. The identity is lacking. The result is an impostor in football. You can do things really, really well – last year we were better than Inter Milan – but did not win. There's something greater than the result, more lasting. A legacy. Inter won the Champions League but no one talks about them. People discovered me since Euro 2008, but I've been playing the same way for years. It is true, though, that I have grown in confidence and tranquillity. And that comes with success.

Has English football suffered because it embraces a different footballing culture?

It has changed; the style's a bit more technical. But before it was direct, it was about the second ball, the typical No9 was a Crouch or a Heskey and there was no football. Carragher, boom, up top; Terry, boom, up top. I think it's changing: Barry, Lampard, Gerrard, Carrick … they are players who treat the ball well. You see them now and think, Christ, they are trying to play.

Is Paul Scholes the English Xavi?


[Xavi interrupts, almost bursting with enthusiasm] Paul Scholes! A role model. For me – and I really mean this – he's the best central midfielder I've seen in the last 15, 20 years. I've spoken to Xabi Alonso about him. He's spectacular, he has it all: the last pass, goals, he's strong, he doesn't lose the ball, vision. If he'd been Spanish he might have been rated more highly. Players love him.

England seems to mistrust technical players.

It's a pity. Talent has to be the priority. Technical ability. Always, always. Sure, you can win without it but it's talent that makes the difference. Look at the teams: Juventus, who makes the difference? Krasic. Del Piero. Liverpool? Gerrard, or Torres before. Talento. Talento. When you look at players and ask yourself who's the best: talento. Cesc, Nasri, Ryan Giggs – that guy is a joy, incredible. Looking back, I loved John Barnes and Chris Waddle was buenísimo. [Open-mouthed, eyes gleaming] Le Tissier! Although their style was different I liked Roy Keane and Paul Ince together, too. That United team was great – my English team. If I'd gone anywhere, it would have been there.

In England do we overrate physical players? You mention Carragher, Terry …

Whoa! Wait! Be careful. They're fundamental. We've got Puyol. Technically he might not be the best but it's incredible the way he defends. Carragher and Terry are necessary, brilliant, but they have to adapt to technical football [not the other way round]. For me, that comes naturally – or for Messi, Iniesta or Rooney. Others have to work at it. For them it's harder to lift their head up and play a pass – but they have to.

But when a player is offered to a club, the first question is: "how tall is he?"

Have you seen [the Villarreal winger] Santi Cazorla? You think I'm small, he's up to here on me [Xavi signals his chest]. And yet he's brilliant. Messi is the same and he's the best player in the world. Maybe it's the culture, I don't know, but in England you're warriors. You watch Liverpool and Carragher wins the ball and boots it into the stands and the fans applaud. There's a roar! They'd never applaud that here.

Next week you play Arsenal again in the Champions League last 16. Are they different? A kind of Barcelona-lite?

Arsenal are a great team. When I watch Arsenal, I see Barça. I see Cesc carry the game, Nasri, Arshavin. The difference between them and us is we have more players who think before they play, quicker. Education is the key. Players have had 10 or 12 years here. When you arrive at Barça the first thing they teach you is: think. Think, think, think. Quickly. [Xavi starts doing the actions, looking around himself.] Lift your head up, move, see, think. Look before you get the ball. If you're getting this pass, look to see if that guy is free. Pum. First time. Look at [Sergio] Busquets – the best midfielder there is playing one-touch. He doesn't need more. He controls, looks and passes in one touch. Some need two or three and, given how fast the game is, that's too slow. Alves, one touch. Iniesta, one touch. Messi, one touch. Piqué, one touch. Busi [Busquets], me … seven or eight players with one touch. Fast. In fact, [the youth coach] Charly [Rexach] always used to say: a mig toc. Half a touch.

Arsenal-Barcelona always provokes questions about Cesc Fábregas's future.

If I'd ever gone to another club, I'd have been thinking about Barcelona – the link is strong. The same is happening to him. But now there's a problem: now he's expensive. But I think that a footballer ends up playing where he wants. He has to end up here.

That's not what Arsenal fans want to hear and some have accused Barcelona players, you included, of stirring trouble. Last summer there were so many remarks supposedly coming out of Barcelona …


Really? I hardly spoke then. I imagine they wouldn't have liked that. [Xavi pauses, adding quietly, almost shamefacedly] You know, often footballers don't think. We're selfish, we don't realise. I also say it because I'm thinking of Cesc. He wants to come here. Barcelona has always been his dream. But of course he's Arsenal's captain, the standard bearer, a leader. This situation is a putada [bummer] for him. He's at a club that plays his style with Wenger who has treated him well, taught him, raised him. Cesc respects him. If he'd been at, say, Blackburn it might have been easier to leave. Look, the truth is: I want him to come here. Of course. Barcelona have a very clear style and not many footballers fit. It's not easy. But Cesc fits it perfectly.

Would he replace you, though?

I don't see new players as a threat; I don't say "this is my patch". I'm more: "bring them here, let them play". The more talent in the middle, the better. Four or five years ago [people said] me and Iniesta couldn't play together. We can't play together? Look how that one turned out.

Last year, you beat Arsenal comfortably …

Yes, but this year they're much better. I think it's a disadvantage for us that we played last year. They had [too] much respect for us. It was as if they let us have the ball; we always had it, home and away. The game in London could have been a 4-0 we dominated so much – but it finished 2-2. This year will be different.

What was your reaction to the draw?

I was happy. I like the fact that we'll see a great game. Arsenal aren't the kind of team that come to try to putear you [piss you off, break up the game, destroy the match]. If it was Chelsea, you might think Madre mía, they're going to leave the initiative to you, wait deep, close up, play on the break with Drogba and Malouda. But, no, I think Arsenal will want the ball. There will be more of a game. As a fan I'd definitely pay for a ticket to see this game. Manchester United or Chelsea would play in a more speculative way. They would leave us the ball. Arsenal won't.

Does English football attract you? Spanish players always return from there raving about it.

It's incredible. Una pasada. Now that is football. England really is the birthplace, the heart and soul of football. If Barcelona had Liverpool's fans, or Arsenal's, or United's, we'd have won 20 Champions Leagues, hahaha! OK, so that's an exaggeration but I've never seen anything like it. We won 3-1 at Liverpool once and we were both applauded off the pitch. In England, footballers are respected more, the game is more noble, there's less cheating. Every Spaniard who goes loves it – and comes back a better player. If I had ever left it would have been to England.

The final is at Wembley, which makes it even more special for Barcelona, doesn't it? Last year it was special because it was at the Bernabéu but Wembley is the scene of the Dream Team's one European Cup. And this feels like a year in which you are being constantly compared to them …

In 1992, I was 12 and my brothers went but my parents wouldn't let me. I was in tears but it made no difference. I'd love to play at Wembley. It's special for Barça – and for everyone in football. Last year was more morbosa [about the rivalry with Real Madrid, almost a little dirty, titillating]. This year is more nostalgic, more classic. And I'm more of a nostalgic. Me? I'm a romantic.
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giggsy11

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2011, 08:30:01 PM »
Xavi actually has played against Scholes since he was 19; he was on the Barca side that played United in 99. So he is quite familiar with his game. I think Xavi appreciates Scholes' abilities/skills and his game works for him. He was not comparing him to any of the other midfielders that men threw into the mix. The same way Zidane was very complimentary of Scholes; professional admiration, nothing wrong with that, it is what it is.

Offline Mango Chow!

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Re: Xavi: Scholes the world's best midfielder
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2011, 09:08:26 PM »
Xavi actually has played against Scholes since he was 19; he was on the Barca side that played United in 99. So he is quite familiar with his game. I think Xavi appreciates Scholes' abilities/skills and his game works for him. He was not comparing him to any of the other midfielders that men threw into the mix. The same way Zidane was very complimentary of Scholes; professional admiration, nothing wrong with that, it is what it is.

   I have no problem with "professional admiration" but both Zidane and Xavi went overboard with their compliments.  I mean...I eh tryin to take nothing away from paul scholes, he IS a good player in my book but Xavi saying that he is "the best" over the past 20 years is just ludicrous. (and he IS comparing him to all the other MF's when he says that)  I love zidane AND Xavi (the players) just like any body else but that don't mean they are always right or that their word is always gospel.  If people were always right just because they are/were players then most coaches would never lose and always pick the right players for their teams.


Not because a man ears long and he teet' long dat it make him a Jackass!

 

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