FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández reflected on the Copa del Rey quarter-final meeting with Real Madrid during an interview with Catalan daily, Sport. The playmaker feels that in the capital, some quarters want to paint Leo Messi as "a villain".
Xavi was asked to give his version of what happened between Messi, Arbeloa and Karanka in the tunnel after last week's first leg in Madrid. "It's a load of rubbish, let's talk about football. Why can't we just talk about football? This is something which has happened in over 100 years of football and will always happen - whoever loses feels angry. I don't know what went on in the tunnel - I don't whether what people claim happened really did happen. I didn't see anything and I am not interested, nor have I asked Leo about it. Some people just want to portray Messi as a bad person - is he is the villain? No. Leo is competitive and always will be - what's wrong with that. What do they want by saying these things?" Xavi told Sport.
And regarding the famous video comparing Real Madrid's players to hyenas, the Barça skipper declared that, "It had absolutely nothing to do with us, the players" but said that Real Madrid's style is aggressive and tense. "Imagine playing with the idea that you life is at stake. We prefer to steer clear of ideas like that".
Xavi also felt that Barça could have taken a better result from the first leg, as he ended, "We were left with the sensation that we have left the tie too open when you consider the opportunities we had. This is Real Madrid and when you don't kill the game off, they recover. We could have left with a more favourable result but we didn't".