blockhead wrote:I compare them because they are both leaving their repective clubs at the end of this season after spending their entire careers with their hometown clubs.
Gerrard was a very good player in an average club team (apart from 1 season). For England he was part of the "golden generation" who acheived SFA (not even a semi).
His performances for England, over many years, were ordinary compared to his peers.
Xavi was a major reason why Barcelona and Spain became great teams. He was the lynchpin of both sides. A great midfielder who influenced the outcome of many competitions for club and country.
Xavi was an exceptional player. Not as good as Iniesta in my opinion but thats just my opinion.... both wonderful players and played in one of the best teams I've seen.
Xavi is Catalan but he's not from the city of Barcelona (according to that Graham Hunter book - Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World).
For me he was the pivot midfielder - the guy who keeps things ticking over but its usually others that provide the moment of magic. He had a super set of superstar players around him that he could feed the ball to and he had the skill to do it but I remember he missed the entire 2006 season (Barca won champions league and league that season) through injury and Barcelona did not miss him... the machine simple kept going. Absolutely brilliant player but the environment in which he operated in was perfect for him.
Both lads have been at their clubs since they were children and both have not left until now... but Xavi had the advantage of playing in a far superior team in a far better run club. For a lot of Gerrard's career, Liverpool was a mess.
The whole golden generation thing was a load of bollix created by the British media who generally always go over the top about the England team. They won a wold cup on home soil 50 years ago and have won nothing since. They usually go out around the 1/4 finals and that is pretty much their level.
I appreciate celebrating an amazing career like Xavi's but I don't see why anyone would need to compare it to someone else who hasn't won as much just because he played in a less successful team.