Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has expressed his disagreement with former teammate Pep Guardiola regarding the issue of racism in Spanish football, reported by mirror. The recent incident involving the abuse directed at Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior has sparked a heated debate, with Guardiola and Xavi having contrasting views on the matter.
Guardiola had previously expressed his skepticism about the possibility of racism improving in Spain in the near future. He based his opinion on his extensive experience as both a player and manager in Spain before venturing elsewhere in Europe. Guardiola stated that racism is prevalent not only in terms of race but also in terms of gender and attitudes. He called for La Liga to learn from the strict measures implemented in the Premier League to combat racism, although he remained doubtful about the situation in Spain.
In contrast, Xavi, who played alongside Guardiola at Barcelona, offered a different perspective. Ahead of Barcelona's match against Mallorca, Xavi emphasized that he disagreed with Guardiola's assessment. He attributed the issue to an educational problem and stressed the need for progress. Xavi proposed that if games were to be halted when incidents of racism occur and individuals were sent home, it would serve as an educational measure. He emphasized that insults and racism should not be considered normal in any workplace. Xavi called for action from the state, federations, government, and La Liga to address the issue.
The difference in opinion between two highly respected figures in football highlights the complexity of the issue and the need for a comprehensive approach to combat racism in Spanish football. While Guardiola expressed doubts about the prospects for improvement, Xavi emphasized the importance of education and taking a stand against racism. The debate serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges faced in tackling discrimination in the sport and the collective responsibility to work towards creating a more inclusive and tolerant environment.