Barca legend Xavi 'would swap' the domestic double for the European trophy
- The midfielder insists only that CL trophy outshines domestic achievements
- Xavi also reckons that pressure on Barcelona is higher than on Madrid
- Blaugrana are in good health; the thing is that Real are in excellent health
Xavi told AS: "Barca are in good footballing health because they're still winning trophies. The problem is that Real Madrid have been winning the Champions League, and so that comparison is made... Imagine if Barça had won the same but Real hadn't won those three Champions Leagues; we'd be talking about a golden age at Barcelona.
"But Real are keeping pace with Barça in terms of silverware, and perhaps theirs has greater clout because of the Champions Leagues. That's why it seems like Barcelona aren't doing well, but they are. Barça are in good health; the thing is that Real are in excellent health. And that's the problem.
"The problem is also that if Barcelona fell 18 points behind Real Madrid by the midway point of the LaLiga season and went out of the Copa del Rey early doors, the atmosphere surrounding the club, particularly in the media, would be too explosive.
"At Barcelona, it's impossible to win the Champions League without lifting other trophies in the same season, because there would be too much negatitivity surrounding the club. Real Madrid don't get the same level of criticism until they're mathematically out of the title race; only then do they get panned. At Barcelona, there's criticism from the word go.
"Those of us who have experienced it can understand it, but for anyone coming into the club from outside, or for a new coach, it isn't easy to live with. So if Barça went 18 points behind Real and were knocked out of the Copa by Leganés, they'd be 99.99% certain not to win the Champions League. If they don't win LaLiga, they won't win the Champions League.
"Swapping domestic double for CL? I would for a season, yeah. If you asked any Barcelona fan, they'd take winning the Champions League and nothing else next year."