Spain's second team captain, Xavi Hernández, has admitted that he almost quit the national team this year, due to his age and recent injuries.
The Catalonian midfielder was interviewed by Spanish newspaper El País, where he said that it was his manager, Vicente del Bosque, the one who convinced him to stay for few more years.
The Spanish manager joked about it, asking Xavi if he was depressed. "He just wouldn't accept it. He came to me and said, 'Xavi, you have to go to Brazil. How on earth are you not going to take part of it?' and that was it," recalled the midfielder.
He also discussed the situation of Iker Casillas, Spain's captain and his best friend within the team.
"I have been very worried about Iker this year, because he didn't deserve to be treated that way," said Xavi about the Real Madrid player. "He has been very affected".
He believes the goalkeeper was mistreated, and stated that the worst part wasn't being sitting on the bench, but Jose Mourinho's statements.
"How could Mourinho say that it had been a great mistake not hiring another goalkeeper when he arrived to Madrid?
"I guess he had forgotten Iker's amazing game in the 2011 Copa del Rey," complained Xavi about the now Chelsea manager.
He continued to defend his friend, and remarked that the Portuguese didn't actually have any interest in Spanish football, a situation that has "made us all stronger, and more united than ever".
The Barcelona player also talked about the excitement of playing at Maracanã Stadium, a place where every footballer dreams to play one day.
The 33-year-old mentioned that he knew he wasn't the fastest player, and that he had "survived by thinking".
About the praises La Roja received after the game against Uruguay, Xavi warned that "we can play much better than that".
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