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Main Listening Report (Week 20) Xavi: Best Player in the World?

This week’s main report features the best player in the world. And no, he does not play for Argentina! Xavi Hernández makes it as languagecaster’s player of the year, so good that even Leo Messi has to take a bow. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post. If you’d like to show your support for what we do then think about becoming a patron (through Patreon). There is a transcript for this show which may help you to improve your language skills by reading as you listen, or if you are a teacher of English you can use the transcript to make different kinds of activities for your learners. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments then please email us at: (Damian=DF).


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?


debating: Discussing

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

Attribution: / CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and if you have any suggestions, contact us at

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