Sport

Xavi loves the Football League & supports Middlesbrough

Spanish legend Xavi has confirmed to the world what we already know: English football is the best in the world.

But not for the reason you think. No, while the Premier League gets all the glory and attention - and is constantly the source of debate about its relative merit compared to Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga - what really makes England the greatest is the Football League.

In an interview with ESPN, the midfielder revealed that he follows the Championship and even down into League One.

"I follow Middlesbrough because [fellow Spaniard, pictured below] Aitor Karanka is there. Brighton are top of their league. I met a boy the other day. English. He was wearing a Barca shirt but I asked him who he supported. He said: 'Sheffield United'. I know them, they have 20,000 fans in the third division. That's incredible."

He continued, "You get that in England. I watched some of a game with Charlton the other day. There was football on television, yet the stadium was packed with supporters. Incredible. If that was in Catalonia, Olot vs. Reus, then there were would be a few people there and the families of the players."

If he thinks that's impressive, someone should tell him that last Saturday over 14,000 people went to watch Plymouth against Exeter in League Two.

In another part of the interview, he also revealed that he'd love to come and watch the Merseyside derby. Asked if he'd like to follow the example of Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, who went to watch games as a fan after retiring from playing, often wearing a scarf in order to not be recognised, he said: "When I have time, I'd love to do the same, but I think my wife would kill me. Can you imagine? 'OK, you stay with the baby for three days while I go and watch Liverpool against Everton!'"

The 35-year-old, who has won pretty much everything there is to win in the game - including a World Cup, two European Championships and four Champions League titles - is currently plying his trade for Qatari side Al Sadd SC. Could he do an Edgar Davids and turn out for Barnet in the not-too-distant future? We shall soon see...