Barcelona's Xavi: Real Madrid focus on individuals while we are all about the team

The 31-year-old says the Copa del Rey winners play in a completely different way from his side and has also remained tight-lipped about the possibility of going into coaching
Barcelona midfielder Xavi has rejected suggestions that Real Madrid have effectively been able to emulate his side's playing style.

The Spanish capital club have been working hard to put an end to Barcelona's hegemony in the country, which has seen them win the last three Liga crowns.

This season's two-legged Supercopa between Madrid and Barca was a tight affair, which has prompted suggestions the Bernabeu outfit are closing the gap on their Catalan rivals.

However, Xavi claims that both teams are still at opposing ends when it comes to their playing strategy.

"The biggest difference is the emphasis on individuals," he 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."

The 31-year-old admitted that Madrid tried to copy his side's method, but noted they crossed the line in the process.

"In Madrid's case, it is not merely that they wanted to copy us," Xavi added. "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."

Xavi reckoned that he is looking to continue working in football after hanging up his boots, but refused to say whether he is considering embarking on a coaching career.

"I am enjoying football more than anything else in life and I also love to live in Barcelona and be a part of this group," the midfielder affirmed.

"I love football and I like the idea of continuing to be part of the game, even if I will no longer be able to play at the highest level.

"I have no idea whether I will get a job in football when I retire. A lot of people want to work in football and only few are lucky enough to be able to do so. But of course, I would like to remain in football in one way or another."