FC Barcelona: 21 Questions We'd Love to Ask Xavi
It's every sports fan's dream to sit down with their sports hero and ask him or her a few questions.
As a columnist, asking questions to athletes is part of the job.
But we columnists/writers are still fans as well.
My favorite player has been and still to this day is Xavi.
From the days he wore No. 26 and No. 16, to now as the general of the tiki-taka, Xavi's calm yet strong leadership has been one of the many reasons he's been my favorite player in Blaugrana.
Not to mention he's always been great with the Spanish national team.
I decided to write 21 questions that we FC Barcelona fans would love to ask the man who has essentially won every trophy in the football world.
Some of the questions are serious; some questions are two- or three-part questions, while others add a touch of humor to the conversation.
I may not ask all the questions some of you may have. Sorry, but I wouldn't ask questions like "Are you mad that Lionel Messi has not given you a chance to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or?"
Come on now.
Here are the 21 questions we FC Barcelona fans would love to ask Xavi Hernandez.
You once said in a previous interview that all you try to do is find open spaces on the pitch; that’s what you try to do when you pass the ball. Is that truly the only thing you do? There has to be more.
It can't be that simple that he's just looking for open spaces, can it? I'm sure timing, reading both your teammates and opponent's movements play a part in passes.
You came and “replaced” Pep Guardiola in the Barcelona midfield. What was the thing that made you the most nervous about trying to fill Pep’s shoes?
Just curious to hear if he was either anxious or nervous about (a) taking over the midfielding duties and (b) replacing his idol.
Pep was your coach for four years. What’s the feeling like of having the man you grew up admiring and molding your game after—the man you replaced as the conductor of the Barcelona midfield—as your coach?
Was it a thrill or was it too much pressure?
What was the greatest piece of advice Pep Guardiola has ever given you?
Was it about playing midfield? Maybe it was about how to run an offense or how to pass with accuracy.
What has marveled you about the evolution of Andres Iniesta?
I want to hear Xavi, the mentor, talk about his friend Andres, the mentee.
Who’s the player you watch on TV and say, “He’s something special to watch”?
Curious to find out who is the player, other than one of his own teammates, Xavi admires.
Is there one player that you say to yourself when you see him, “His game is similar to mine"?
No one can be Xavi. But I am wondering if he sees a bit of himself in another player's game.
Which Barcelona teammate is your most trusted confidant?
If I had to bet, I'd say it's Carles Puyol because they've known each other and have been a part of the team for so long.
(Pictured: A young Puyol and Xavi when they used to ride the bench.)
You’ve essentially won every trophy in the game. What would it mean to win the Ballon d’Or?
After so much success with FC Barcelona and with La Roja, I wonder if he even cares about winning the Ballon d'Or anymore.
What is the greatest pass you’ve ever made—if you can remember the single greatest of the millions you’ve made?
I'm sure his greatest pass was one that lead to a goal. Just wondering which one it is.
What’s the greatest victory you’ve ever been a part of? Which one meant the most to you?
It has to be the 2010 World Cup, right? Maybe it meant more to Xavi to win a Champions League title for FC Barcelona.
How often do you have our eyes checked? Do you have 20/10 vision? What does your optometrist say?
Just to get a laugh. But seriously, he must have 20/10, possibly 20/8 vision.
Who is a midfielder currently playing, who's not on your team, that you enjoy watching?
Maybe it's Andrea Pirlo or Ryan Giggs?
What would you like for Thiago Alcantara—who many see as your eventual successor—to learn from you?
I want to know what he is teaching Thiago and how he is preparing him for the future.
You’ve been a member of some of the best teams—both club and national teams—of this generation. Which team do you consider is the best?
Is it the 2010 World Cup Spanish squad? How about the 2008 or 2012 Euro champion teams. Perhaps the 2005-06 or 2010-11 FC Barcelona teams. Or maybe it's the famed 2008-09 six-trophy-winning FC Barcelona.
If you weren’t a football player, what profession would you have gone into?
With the way Xavi builds plays and sees things so clearly on the pitch, I say he would have gone into architecture or engineering.
Which player—either currently playing or in the game's history—would you love to play alongside with?
Perhaps Johan Cruyff. Maybe another great midfielder like Zinedine Zidane. Or maybe one of the greatest strikers of all time like Ronaldo (the real Ronaldo).
Let's talk about you and Lionel Messi. How do you read Messi and his movements when you guys are on attack? Is it just instinct or—as the years have gone by—have both of you built such chemistry that you know what the other is thinking of doing?
I want details on how the Xavi/Messi magic happens.
You and Andrea Pirlo are two of the greatest midfielders of our generation. What is it about great midfielders like you, Pirlo and Ryan Giggs that seemingly get better with age?
What’s the secret, if there is one?
When you hang up your boots and leave the game, how would Xavi Hernandez like to be remembered by Culés and in the history books of FC Barcelona?
Thanks for reading. Always appreciated.
A special "Thank you" to Hosanna Lau for usage of her great portrait of Xavi that was used for this article's cover picture as well as this slide. Find her great artwork at http://hosanna9.deviantart.com/
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona on Bleacher Report.