Xavi dismisses critics that label Spain boring

 

Spanish playmaker Xavi has dismissed the allegation Spain have become a boring team.

Their tiki-taka style thrilled supporters at the last European Championships, also at the World Cup in South Africa.

Now it has taken them to the brink of history as the only side to win three major international tournaments on the trot.

Yet it seems tiki-taka is no longer what it once was.

With David Villa ruled out through injury and Fernando Torres not back to the level that once had opposition defences quaking, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has taken the novel approach of selecting teams with no orthodox forwards.

As four of the eight goals they have scored in Poland and Ukraine came against the Republic of Ireland, there is evidence to back up the boring tag.

However, Xavi is not buying it.

"We are not bored," he said.

"All our players know how to adapt and how we play.

"It is important that our fans can identify with our style.

"They enjoy it and we enjoy it.

"If people think it is boring that Spain always win, that is fantastic for us."

Indeed, Xavi feels the style of play has rescued his career.

In an era when the physical dominance of midfield areas seemed to be taking over, he would have found it difficult.

But, first with Barcelona, then with a previously under-performing national side, a system has been found that allowed the 32-year-old to confirm his status as one of the best players in the world.

"I feel very lucky," he said.

"Some years ago football had gone in the direction of being more physical.

"We had slightly weaker, but more technical, players.

"That is what we tried to do with Spain and thankfully it worked out really well for everyone."

Del Bosque was certainly making no apologies for the way his team perform.

"We cannot stay in the past century," he said.

"Football is evolving and our players have changed.

"The nucleus is the same but you cannot say we haven't tried to change anything and have stayed on the same line."

Del Bosque must decide whether to include former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, who is one of those who has been used in an offensive role during the current tournament.

Andres Iniesta, whose extra-time goal defeated Holland in the World Cup final, is another, with Del Bosque seemingly intent on filling his midfield rather than take the bold step of including Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente, who proved so troublesome for Manchester United in two meetings last season.

"We will play with three attackers that's for sure," said Del Bosque.

"There will be three men in the front who are going to be responsible for attacking.

"Each member of the team has his own mission."

Del Bosque needs to get it right because history awaits this special group of players.

Yet, in a sense, they have already achieved their most significant task; transforming the perception of a team many felt, like England, were destined to fail.

"This feels different," said skipper Iker Casillas.

"Four years ago we achieved something the team had never achieved before.

"Then we won the World Cup, which showed we were evolving as a team.

"After four years, now we are in another final, which is something no-one could have imagined before the first one.

"People talk about creating history. But it has been created already. We did it with that very first win."

PA

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living