Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara: No one should talk about referees

The 20-year-old believes that debating decisions detracts from the sport and that the focus of everyone's attention should be the beauty of the game
Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara thinks that players should not talk about refereeing decisions in the midst of the current war of words between his club and Real Madrid.

Camp Nou stars Xavi and Lionel Messi hit out at the standard of refereeing in La Liga, leading Real Madrid's Jose Callejon to point out Barcelona perceived hypocrisy.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola spoke out in his players' defence, but another one of his charges has now stated that the match officials should remain a taboo subject.

"No one should talk about referees. You lose the essence of football when it comes to referees. You have to talk about good football," Thiago said during a press conference.

The Spain international went on to say that he is confident Barcelona can close the seven-point gap currently separating his team and league leaders Real Madrid.

"We can come back in La Liga. This team has shown that there is confidence because we have achieved great things."

Finally, the 20-year-old stated that he is happy to play a bit-part role for his team and is content with any decision made in terms of selection.

"I am ready to play from the start or stay on the bench. Any decision taken to benefit the team is acceptable."

Starting in November and continuing through to the middle of February, is publishing exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. Last Friday's extract looked at how Barca suffered rare disappointment at the hands of Real Madrid in a gripping finale to last season's Copa del Rey. Don't miss it!