Cristiano Ronaldo has never been one to take criticism very well.
So when Xavi said that the only people who believe Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi are those associated with Real Madrid, the Barcelona legend must have expected a response.
He got one, of course. Ronaldo hit back by mocking Xavi for failing to win the Ballon d’Or and also expressed his own egotism.
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“The most searched for player on the Internet is me,” the Real Madrid star said, per Sport. “Those that want to appear on front covers to promote things speak about me.
“What does it matter to me what Xavi says, he played in Qatar or I don’t know. He’s won everything but he’s never won a Ballon d’Or - I have three.”
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Talk about an overreaction. It’s almost like Ronaldo found Xavi’s favouritism towards Messi surprising.
Eto'o comes to Xavi's defence
Samuel Eto’o, who won two Champions League trophies with Xavi, has since offered his support to his former teammate.
Eto’o is one of many out there who think that it’s an injustice Xavi has never won the Ballon d’Or.
"A player can't say because they have four or five [Ballons d'Or], they're the best," the former Cameroon international told Spanish radio station Cadena SER, per ESPN FC.
"If the Ballon d'Or was fair, Xavi would have won five or six. He deserves all the respect in the world.
"Xavi did not say what he said [about Messi being the best] out of a lack of respect. Xavi is Xavi."
Barcelona said farewell to Xavi in 2015 after he spent 24 years at the club. That he never won the Ballon d’Or doesn’t take anything away from his extraordinary talent; it simply proves the voters penchant for goalscorers.
Xavi's father responded
Xavi’s father, Joaquin Hernandez, failed to criticise Ronaldo in his response to the 31-year-old’s comments.
After the Barcelona game, I saw the report and then the statements of Ronaldo, to which I don't give the slightest importance," Joaquin Hernandez told RAC1, according to Marca. ”Xavi has a lot of experience and he knows what this is about - I think he'll be indifferent to it.”
”Xavi is feeling perfectly well and very happy to be there [in Qatar], it's very quiet, without any pressure.
"I'm not going to say anything to Cristiano, but he knows what he should do. I don't want to get into this issue, he has his opinion and we should respect it.”