Saturday 24 March 2018

Xavi basks in 'justice' of victory

Barcelona's Champions League win over Real Madrid was "footballing justice," the Catalan club's midfielder Xavi declared yesterday.

The midfielder believes that Madrid's negative tactics meant Barcelona deserved to progress to the Wembley final, which they did with a 3-1 aggregate victory after Tuesday night's semi-final.

Real's manager, Jose Mourinho, had been heavily criticised for his defensive approach to the first leg.

"It's a unique moment," reflected Xavi after the triumph. "We think it's footballing justice."

The World Cup-winning midfielder was scathing about his opponents, though. "It is a shame Madrid justify themselves like that," he said. "The only team that went out to win the match was Barca."

Dani Alves was similarly critical. The Brazilian right-back said that Real's lack of graciousness in defeat suggested a moral superiority for Barcelona, and expressed his relief at not having to play Madrid again until next season. "I don't think we could stand each other any more after so many games," Alves said.

Mourinho's criticisms of the officiating during the first leg led to him receiving a touchline ban for the second leg.

Former Real president Ramon Calderon hit out at Mourinho, saying his conduct was not in the best traditions of the club.

"What he did in terms of talking about Uefa and referees is not acceptable at all," Calderon said. "Talking like that has been harmful for Real Madrid."

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport