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Simeone hits out at Xavi: “Years ago he said Atletico’s style is not for big teams..”



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Barcelona will be facing off against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid in a crucial encounter in the La Liga on Sunday afternoon.

It promises to be a feisty encounter with so much at stake, considering that both teams are separated by just a point in the league standings. Barça manager Xavi Hernandez acknowledged the importance of the encounter during his press conference earlier on Saturday, terming it as a six-pointer.

It will also be the first time Xavi is pitting his wits against Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone. The reverse fixture was played when Ronald Koeman was still in charge of the Catalans and it ended with a 2-0 defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Leading up to the game, Simeone opened up on the prospect of facing Xavi for the first time as manager and aimed a dig at the Barcelona head coach over some of his past statements regarding Los Rojiblancos’ style of play.

“Years ago Xavi said that Atlético de Madrid’s style was not for big teams. Now he will have the opportunity to display what he wants and imagines, since he has new signings and eight players available for his front-three,” El Cholo said, as quoted by SPORT.

Further elaborating, Simeone went on add that Xavi’s statements came in light of him not experiencing or being exposed to any other philosophies apart from the one at Barça, which brought a lot of success to the team during his playing days.

“When a person has only lived with one situation in his life, he doesn’t understand other situations… What he thinks (Xavi) is very respectable because he had the opportunity to have lived huge successes at Barcelona,” Simeone said.

Simeone’s comments will certainly spice things up ahead of what will be a tightly-contested encounter at Camp Nou on Sunday. Whoever comes out on top will have an advantage in the race for a top-four finish.

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