Xavi v Iniesta: Who is the better player?


Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta are no doubt two of the greatest midfielders the game has ever seen. Together they are unstoppable and have both won absolutely everything there is to win in football.

The debate about which of the two is the better player is an ongoing one with most football fans believing there is simply no correct answer. After another successful campaign for the Spaniards with Barcelona last year, comparing how each of the two performed last season may not be enough to get any closer to a  decision.

In the 2012/13 league campaign, the playing time for the two were almost exactly the same, with only the one substitute appearance in favour of Iniesta separating them.

In this time, Iniesta overshadowed Xavi in terms of assists with an impressive 16 to Xavi’s eight, but Xavi managed to score two more goals than his fellow Spaniard. On top of this, Xavi’s 94.8% pass completion percentage was greater than the 90.5% achieved by Iniesta.

As we can see, statistically it is almost impossible to find an outcome, but there is one factor that could well separate the two.

Although they both predominately play in centre midfield, Iniesta has been known to operate from the left side of a front three for his club. Initially, this seems to swing the pendulum in the way of Iniesta; however, taking a closer look into it may suggest otherwise.

From this we get the impression that 29-year-old Iniesta is too important for Barcelona to leave him out. If they wish to bring in someone like Cesc Fabregas or Thiago Alcantara, the left winger, who in most cases is Pedro Rodriguez, would then be dropped in order to fit Iniesta into the side.

Xavi, however, only ever operates in centre midfield yet still manages to play as much as his fellow international. This simply suggests that he is just above Iniesta in the pecking order at Barcelona.

Both Xavi and Iniesta are two unbelievably talented. After taking all things into consideration, Xavi looks to have a slight edge on his team-mate, but no one could be criticised for thinking any differently.


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