When debating who is the best player in the world invariably it comes down to two players: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Regular listeners to our podcast will know where we stand on this issue with Messi more of a team player, a more prolific goal scorer and the possessor of more league titles. But is Messi even the best player at Barcelona? According to FIFA the Catalan side have the top three players in the world in their side: the World Cup winning-goal scorer Andres Iniesta, club captain Xavi Hernández and of course Messi all being nominated for the Ballon D’Or trophy. However, the prestigious UK-based magazine World Soccer has decided to give its annual award to the 29-year old captain of Barcelona, Xavi.
World Cup winner with Spain and La Liga winner with Barcelona is not such an exclusive club these days (just ask Iniesta, Pedro, Pujol, Valdes and Busquets) but Xavi stands out as he is the man that makes both club and country tick. A playmaker with an amazing passing range, superb temperament and wonderful technique, Xavi has been at the club since he was 11 and has now made nearly 550 appearances for the first team, scoring 55 times. In addition to the World Cup and the European Championship with Spain, he has won La Liga five times, the Copa del Rey once and two Champions League titles but his appeal is more than just these honours, for Xavi plays the game like it was meant to be played. Schooled in the Barcelona tradition of pass and move, he is, without doubt, the world’s greatest passer of the ball: he is always at the top of the passing charts at every tournament and very rarely gives the ball away. Messi and Iniesta may receive all the plaudits for their goal-scoring but it is Xavi who is the heartbeat of the side. Xavi, best player of 2010? Why not?
invariably: Usually, without doubt
will know where we stand on this issue: Will know what the languagecaster team think about something
prestigious : Famous, well-known and has a good reputation
is not such an exclusive club : Because 6 players have won both titles
makes both club and country tick: The heartbeat of the side, the main player
Schooled in the Barcelona tradition: Xavi was brought up with the culture of FC Barcelona, plays the Barca way
receive all the plaudits : To be lauded or praised