Previous
England
Panama
6
1
FT
Match 30
Game Details
Japan
Senegal
2
2
FT
Match 32
Game Details
Poland
Colombia
0
3
FT
Match 31
Game Details
Saudi Arabia
Egypt
2:00 PM UTC
Match 34
Game Details
Uruguay
Russia
2:00 PM UTC
Match 33
Game Details
Iran
Portugal
6:00 PM UTC
Match 35
Game Details
Spain
Morocco
6:00 PM UTC
Match 36
Game Details
Next

Real Madrid's Casemiro has perfect response to Xavi saying he wouldn't fit at Barcelona

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has laughed off criticism from ex-Barcelona playmaker Xavi Hernandez over his lack of Blaugrana "DNA" by pointing out he will be playing for a fourth Champions League winners' medal in five years this weekend.

Speaking earlier this year, Al-Sadd midfielder Xavi -- who won four Champions League titles at Barca between 1998 and 2015 -- pointed to Casemiro's inability to "dominate space-time" as a reason that Madrid could never play football as beautifully as those brought up at the Camp Nou's La Masia academy.

"Madrid break apart, seven players attack and Casemiro stays back on his own to cover the centre," Xavi told El Pais in January. "[Barca midfielder Sergio] Busquets cannot do that as even I am faster than he is. Casemiro is super fast, but he has trouble with everything else as he has not worked on it.

"He has other characteristics, is more defensive, makes more tackles, covers more ground, but he does not dominate space-time. If you had started with Casemiro aged 12, 13, 15, then he would have that."

When that interview was mischievously brought up to Casemiro on radio show El Larguero during a preview of Saturday's decider between Madrid and Liverpool, the 2014, 2016 and 2017 competition winner joked that although that meant he could never sign for Barca he was happy enough where he was.

"Everyone says what they want, but I've been here four years, and heading into my fourth Champions League final..." Casemiro said. "I couldn't sign for Barca, as I can't play football the way Xavi wants. I am with Madrid until death."

Barca's record of not having passed the Champions League quarterfinals in any of the last three seasons was not mentioned, but did not have to be.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.