MX23RW : Monday, July 26 05:33:18| >> :120:27352:27352:

Xavi praises Gerardo Martino

Barcelona midfielder Xavi defends under-fire head coach Gerardo Martino.

Barcelona midfielder Xavi has branded under-fire boss Gerardo Martino "a natural leader".

Despite leading Barca into the knockout stages of the Champions League and to the top of the La Liga table, the Argentine has come under criticism for his tactics this season.

However, Xavi has insisted that the players are fully behind their manager, who replaced Tito Vilanova at the beginning of the campaign.

"Tata, like [Pep] Guardiola, is a natural leader. He is rigid, demanding, he talks very directly and his ideas are very clear. We are very relaxed inside the dressing-room. We believe in what we are doing," Xavi told Radio Catalunya.

"We know that these are two consecutive defeats, and that the level of demands is very high. The fans pressure us a lot to return to playing the same as we did before, and that is difficult. But from inside we are relaxed, we know we are doing things well.

"Barca are not playing on the counter-attack, but for a passer like me it is always nice to find spaces [to play more directly]. The style does not change, it is all compatible."

Barcelona face Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday.

ID:123183: cacheID:123183:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:2178:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Tito Vilanova looks on as he gives a press conference in Barcelona on May 31, 2013
Read Next:
Rosell: 'Vilanova will return to Barcelona'
>

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina62513
JapanJapan6118
United StatesUnited States53412
AustraliaAustralia3126
Republic of KoreaRepublic of Korea2035
Great BritainGreat Britain1214
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Jonny Brownlee will look to make the most of his brother Alistair's absence as he goes for gold in the men's triathlon (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB get their campaign underway with two matches, against Canada and Japan (from 1.30am)

SWIMMING
· One of Team GB's biggest gold medal hopes, Adam Peaty, will take part in the 100m breaststroke final. (3.12am)
· Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky go head to head for gold in the women's 400m freestyle final (3.20am)

DIVING
· Tom Daley and Matty Lee take part in the men's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The men's team final takes place (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Athletic Bilbao00000000
2Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
3Barcelona00000000
4CadizCadiz00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
6AlavesAlaves00000000
7ElcheElche00000000
8Espanyol00000000
9Getafe00000000
10Granada00000000
11Levante00000000
12Mallorca00000000
13Osasuna00000000
14Rayo Vallecano00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000
18Sevilla00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!