The big interview: Xavi – inside the mind of a football genius

Xavi looks confused. It’s probably because he’s never seen a rattle before. “And people actually take these to games in England?” the perplexed playmaker asks. Then he screams, as a ratcheting cacophony fills the plush confines of the Torch Hotel in Doha, Qatar. “Bloody hell, that’s loud! It makes a much better noise than those damn vuvuzelas in South Africa.”

What you might be thinking, however, is why. Why the rattle? Why has FourFourTwo travelled more than 3,000 miles to the Middle East to interview a player who admits he’s in semi-retirement in Qatar? 

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Andrew Murray is a freelance journalist, who regularly contributes to both the FourFourTwo magazine and website. Formerly a senior staff writer at FFT and a fluent Spanish speaker, he has interviewed major names such as Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero and Xavi. He was also named PPA New Consumer Journalist of the Year 2015.