Barcelona's Xavi defends Real Madrid amid 'thrashing' criticism after Champions League exit

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Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez refused to criticise Real Madrid after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester City, who he said are the best team in the world.

City beat Madrid 4-0 on Wednesday to progress to the final 5-1 on aggregate after a draw in the Spanish capital last week. Pep Guardiola's side will meet Inter Milan in June's showpiece in Istanbul.

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Xavi acknowledges Barca fans will have enjoyed watching their Clasico rivals -- who have won five Champions Leagues in the last decade -- lose, but preferred to focus on the strength of City when analysing the tie.

"I don't like the word 'baño' [thrashing] in football," Xavi said in a news conference on Friday when asked for his thoughts on Madrid being hammered in Manchester.

"Words like that and 'failure' are not constructive. Look, City were massively superior in the game this week and they took advantage of that.

"That was not the case at the Bernabeu [in the first leg], but they were worthy winners overall. They are the best team in the world."

Xavi said he "would not swap positions" with anyone when asked if Madrid's elimination meant Barca, who wrapped up a first LaLiga title since 2019 last weekend, have now had a better season than Los Blancos.

However, the Barca boss also acknowledged that his side must take steps forward in Europe next season after back-to-back group stage exits from the Champions League.

Barca will receive the league trophy after Saturday's game at Spotify Camp Nou against Real Sociedad but, while he is enjoying the moment, Xavi said the Blaugrana still have objectives to complete this season.

"The bus parade through the city was extraordinary this week -- I have lost my voice with all the celebrating," he added.

"The fans needed to celebrate these big titles. But there is a game to be played, too, and we now want to finish the LaLiga campaign strongly.

"We still have objectives such as [Robert Lewandowski] winning the [top scorer award] and being the team to keep the most clean sheets [ever in LaLiga]."

Barca's success in the league has led to calls for Xavi to extend his contract, with his existing deal up in 2024, and he said reaching an agreement will be straight forward.

"There are talks and there won't be any problems, but it's not a priority right now," he said. "I have one more year on my deal. I will never be a problem for Barça, that's for sure, even if I have read reports that there are supposedly discrepancies.

"I would stay here for the rest of my life, but it comes down to results and performances."