Beware the wrath of Xavi.
The 37-year-old is the perfect model for Barcelona’s La Masia academy, progressing through the youth ranks and the B team before spending 17 years in the first-team.
So it’s no surprise he’s not the biggest fan of players leaving the club when they’re younger rather than staying and trying to break into the first-team.
*Cough* Hector Bellerin *Cough*
Xavi, speaking to SPORT, was asked about the potential of Barcelona signing Bellerin.
The 22-year-old left Barcelona in 2011 to move to Arsenal, making his first-team debut two years late.
Xavi wasn’t biting his tongue when it came to talking about the rumour, saying: “I haven’t seen him play a lot, but I’ll tell you something, it’s difficult to me to accept signing a player we already had.
Did anyone else read that in a Kevin Keegan voice?
Xavi continued: “I would not sign players who leave. Why are they leaving at 16 or 17? It’s baffling to me. I don’t understand.
“When I was 16 I didn’t want to leave, my idea was that I was in the best place I could be. If Chelsea or United would have come for me I would have said no.”
Barcelona have already lost promising forward Jordi Mboula to Monaco, while wonderkid Eric Garcia joined Pep Guardiola at Man City.
But Xavi wasn’t as critical of Gerard Deulofeu, whom Barcelona have just re-signed, saying: “That’s a very different case. He didn’t want to go, he was invited to leave.”
Who are we to argue with Xavi?