Xavi launches a staunch Gavi defence: The problem is he plays for Barça
The Barcelona coach responded to the media campaign against the midfielder
Xavi Hernández was very blunt in the press conference prior to FC Barcelona's visit to Elche when he was asked about the campaigns that have been promoted from Madrid to discredit Gavi.
The Blaugrana coach said that the problem with the Andalusian midfielder, "one of the best in the world right now", is "that he plays for Barça."
"I imagine that if he was from another team, the problem would be a virtue," he added.
"I am not aware of any campaign. I see that Gavi is happy and content when he is with us. He is an extraordinary player who puts in passion, grit and courage. He should not change his attitude.
"I guess the problem is that he is a Barça player. If he was from another team, the problem would be a virtue. He has a very promising and extraordinary career ahead of him. He is one of the best players in Spain and one of the best midfielders in the world right now."
After Gavi and Ceballos clashed during the Clasico, which Barcelona won with a last-gasp Franck Kessie goal, the Los Palacios y Villafranca star has been in the eye of the storm from various quarters.
"If he played for another team, not just Madrid, the treatment would be different," Xavi said. "He is a great footballer who makes a difference at the age of 18. It's a spectacle to watch him play. That's why I'm surprised by these things."