I just thought it was so funny to see both these stories on the same day.
When asked about his own possibilities of winning the Ballon d’Or, Xavi told FIFA’s official website: “I’ll repeat what I’ve been telling everybody: I hope that a Spanish player wins it and if not, I hope it goes to my friend Leo Messi.“He’s indisputably the best player in the world, and he’s going to win the Ballon d’Or several more times. But in World Cup years the tournament is a big factor, and Andres (Iniesta) and I won it, while La Albiceleste didn’t hit the heights expected of them.”…Xavi, meanwhile, also admitted he might not be as effective in a team like Real Madrid as he is for Barca and Spain.“Let me say one thing: I depend on my team-mates. My football and my passing would be worthless without my team’s help. That’s something which is very clear to me,” he said.“Sometimes I start thinking and I look at Madrid for example, who have truly great players, but I’d struggle with them. They play through the middle and I need players who open the play down the flanks, who make diagonal runs, who leave space for me in the centre and who never stop moving.”
The strike marked Nani’s seventh of the season and fourth in four matches, and the controversy sparked by the goal has not deterred the 23-year-old from singing his own praises.“As a player, I think I’m close to being as complete as I can be,” said Nani. “Now I can say I’m one of the top players in the world.“I play for the best club in the world and my role in the team is as a decisive player, scoring goals or setting up and so the team can win.”
So, to recap: Xavi, one of the indisputably greatest midfield generals in the world, the architect of Spain’s World Cup victory this past summer, gets nominated for an annual award given to recognize the most outstanding individual achievement in world football, and spends his time praising a club teammate who he feels is more deserving of it, before going on to stress how he’s only as good as the rest of his team and the system they play with. Nani, an undeniably talented player who has yet to achieve a starring leadership role at Manchester United or at the perennially underachieving Portugal, though one who is known as a top rival to his fellow Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to cynical diving and theatrical playacting, scores a cheap goal in a recent game thanks to a referee’s blatant error and goes on to proclaim himself one of the top players in the world. You just gotta laugh.