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Benat: Xavi just as important as Messi

Real Betis star Benat says Xavi is just as important to Barcelona as Ballon d’Or holder Lionel Messi.

The two sides go head to head on Sunday and the Spain international believes his team would do well not to divert all of their attention to the Argentine attacker.

“Messi is the one who makes the difference. But we must not forget about Xavi. He is the one who makes the side play up to his level, he is up there with Messi,” Benat told Marca.

“Messi is the best player in history. He does it all – with his right foot, with his left foot, he takes free-kicks, he’s a good header of the ball.”

Benat believes his team can cause an upset on Sunday night if they have luck and work hard.

“Mission impossible? Well I recall the same thing being said about Real Madrid. People took it for granted that we were going to lose, and yet we played our game, worked very hard and challenged them without fear,” he said, referring to Betis’ 1-0 win over the Spanish champions last month.

“In the end, of course, you do need a little bit of luck, and we were that little bit luckier in front of goal, and they were not.

“I think we can do some harm, and we’ll certainly try to. We’ll just have to make the very best of the few chances we’ll get. Barcelona know that we have held our own against them in the past.”

Sun 9 Dec, 2012
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