By 90Min
January 10, 2018

Barcelona legend Xavi has accused Real Madrid of playing overtly unattractive football since their appointment of Jose Mourinho in 2010.

The Portuguese coach supposedly instructed his players to "hit the ball direct", an approach diametrically opposed to that of Pep Guardiola's Barcelona.

Xavi has voiced his opinion on the lack of "beautiful" football played by Los Blancos in recent years.

"Mourinho’s Madrid hit the ball direct over the top," Xavi told El Pais. "Mourinho told his players never to stop the ball, to play quickly, and then [Angel] Di Maria, Cristiano [Ronaldo] or [Karim] Benzema would break. Now they do it with [Gareth] Bale. They don’t want to play football."

He added: "Barcelona is the final exam for a player. It is the most difficult club and the most demanding in the world. 

"Madrid do not play so beautifully. At the Bernabeu, if a defender hoofs the ball into the stand it is fine. That is the culture. The fans applaud.

Paul Gilham/GettyImages

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"In the Camp Nou, if you kick the ball into the stands there is a murmur of negativity, since the Cruyff era.

"They are two demanding audiences but the difference is that the Bernabeu demands that players give everything. They cannot stand laziness.

"The culture of Barcelona is that of Cruyff. Cruyff turned, looked, understood the game, and did not lose the ball."

Xavi, who is currently playing for Al Sadd in Qatar, left Barcelona in 2015 having made over 700 appearances for the club.

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