Barca-Madrid matches shouldn't affect Spain, says Xavi

AP, Monday 2 May 2011

The ongoing feuds between Barcelona and Real Madrid's Spanish national team players during the current run of "clasicos" shouldn't affect the World Cup champions, according to Barcelona playmaker Xavi Hernandez.

Xavi celebrates scoring against Real Madrid

Madrid and Barcelona reported each other to UEFA's disciplinary committee for unsporting behavior following Wednesday's ill-tempered 2-0 Champions League semifinal first leg victory for Barcelona.

While UEFA threw out the challenges on Monday, a number of Spain teammates have become mixed up in sour on-field antics."I don't want to think about that.

Logically, we're not talking much either since both teams are looking out for themselves and your competing to help your team win," Xavi said Monday from the Camp Nou, where Tuesday's return leg match will be played.

"When everyone goes back to the national team they go with the best possible attitude because we're all professionals." Spain coach Vicente del Bosque voiced concern over how the four derby matches over an 18-day span will affect national team relations, with 13 players from the World Cup winning squad taking part in the games.

Several Spain players have been involved in on-field bust-ups, most notably Barcelona striker David Villa and Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Arbeloa during Madrid's 1-0 Copa del Rey final victory.

In Wednesday's first leg, Ramos and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique exchanged words while Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez feigned injury following a run-in with Arbeloa.

Spanish media outlets reported that several players from both teams stopped following one another on Twitter after last week's first leg.

Xavi said Barcelona always showed "exemplary conduct" and placed the blame on Madrid's Jose Mourinho, saying his coaching style is about generating controversy.

"It's sad," Xavi. "It would be nice to talk about football and not all these pitiful details. We try our best not to let all of this tension affect us. It's almost impossible, but we try."

Search Keywords:
Short link: