BARCELONA - The controversy and mud-slinging
that marred last week's Champions League semi-final first leg
between Barcelona and Real Madrid were negative for football, according to Barca midfielder Xavi.
UEFA investigated both clubs after the ill-tempered game at
the Bernabeu, which Barca won 2-0, and the arch rivals each
filed complaints about the other with European football's
governing body which were rejected on Monday.
GEAR: Save 10% on Champions League shirts with Kitbag. Free delivery on orders over £50
"From my point of view everything that has been happening is
sad," Xavi told a news conference ahead of Tuesday's second leg
at the Nou Camp.
"It would be nice to talk about football instead and not
these ridiculous issues," the Spanish World Cup winner added.
"We will try not to let any of this tension affect us, which
is negative for football and sport in general. It's impossible
but we will try."
Barca were furious with Real coach Jose Mourinho, an
assistant at the Catalan club in the late 1990s, for comments
they felt belittled the achievements of his counterpart Pep
Real also accused some of the Barca players of diving and
Portuguese Mourinho was sent from the bench in the second
half for protesting against the dismissal of compatriot Pepe, who is suspended for Tuesday's game and will watch from the stands with his manager.
Barca and Real provided the majority of the players who won
the World Cup in South Africa last year but there were ugly
scenes when the two teams met in last month's La Liga game, the
King's Cup final and the Champions League first leg match.
Xavi said the incidents would not affect the atmosphere the
next time the European and world champions met up for
"There won't be any problems with the national team.
Everyone is very professional," he said. "We won Euro 2008 and
the World Cup together and, what's more, in a fantastic
"It's logical there is tension as we have played many games
in a short space of time which has never happened before."
English Premier League leaders Manchester United will defend
a 2-0 lead over Schalke 04 when they host the Bundesliga side in
Wednesday's other semi.
The final will take place at London's Wembley Stadium on May 28.
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010