Here it is, ONTD Football's first Q&A with Spanish midfielder Xavi Torres! These two names might already ring a bell in the football world but this fellow is just breaking into the scene. The 22 year-old spent several years as the captain of Barcelona's B squad, a system famous for developing talents such as Lionel Messi, Pepe Reina, Cesc Fabregas, and Pep Guardiola. Now he has a new challenge at Malaga CF, where he'll be given a starting role in the Primera Division for the first time in his career. But there's only so much you can learn about a player by looking him up on Wikipedia, so we've asked him some questions of our own! Enjoy, and try not to pee yourself in excitement.
What was it like to work with Pep?(strictlyrhythm)
Working with Pep Guardiola has been the greatest thing to happen in my sporting career. He's been the best coach I've ever had because he has taught me a lot and since he was also a midfielder like me, I've been able to learn things he did during his peak. He's a great human being, very humble and that's why he's so succesful.
What has been the most important thing you've learned during your time with Barca and what are some things you'll take with you for the rest of your career?
The most important thing I learned is that it's better to keep the ball moving instead of the players. There has to be a lot of passing and you just can't kick without thinking. Just look at FCB, it's wonderful watching them play.
Which player of the Barcelona B do you think will be amongst the big names in the future?
In the Barca B, there are very good players, no one knows who will get to play for the first team for many years. But even so, the player who has struck me the most is Victor Vazquez.
Are there any funny anecdotes you remember from training with the first team? (kstew_robpattz)
I have many funny memories with the first team, for example, one day without noticing, Gai Asssulin (my teammate from the Barcelona B) took Xavi Hernandez's bag of toiletries thinking it was his.
Xavi Torres posing for a team photo ahead of the match against Osasuna - the night Barcelona were crowned league champions
What will you miss most about playing with Barcelona? (_almagitana)
I will miss many things about Barcelona like the facilities, my teammates but mostly starting off play in the back during games.
Malaga has pulled off an impressive first season back in the Primera Division after their recent promotion. What are your goals for the upcoming season and what do you think you'll contribute to meet these goals?(bismarcksotto)
I'm not going to get into long term goals, but it's true that Malaga had a very good season last year and I would love to play many games and give my bit to the team so we can repeat or better what we did last season.
Malaga are already competing for a title this summer in the Peace Cup. Are you expected to play an important role?
During preseason, the coaches tend to give all the players the same amount of minutes. I was able to play against Aston Villa (who are the Champions of the 2009 Peace Cup) and they won 1-0.
Aston Villa are in a group with Malaga for the Peace Cup. Have you played against an English team before? What are some of your expectations for facing this side?
I had never played against a team in the Premier League [up until the Peace Cup] but I go into every game as if it were a final and I had a very good game against Aston Villa.
Xavi Torres duels for the ball with Aston Villa's Nigel Reo-Coker at the 2009 Peace Cup
The Primera Division arguably plays the technically best and most exciting football on continental Europe at the moment and the league is studded with stars. Would you still consider a move abroad a desireable step in your future career?(bismarckotto)
In football, you never know where you'll be tomorrow. It's true that La Liga is very good right now, but I won't rule out playing for a team outside of Spain.
Do you as a player have any role models you model your game on? If yes, what makes them so exemplary in your eyes? (bismarckotto)
I would love to play like Toure Yaya and Sergio Busquets from FCB. They steal a lot of balls and they play very quick and easy football. They are also very level headed and humble, which is the most important thing in life.
Who's your favorite player of all time?(ipomoea)
For me, the best player right now is Yaya Toure but someone I have always looked up to as a player and as a person is Pep Guardiola.
My most memorable game was my debut in the primera division against Mallorca with the best team in the world (FCB). It was a nice game and I was lucky to play for the 90 minutes.
What was your reaction when the USA beat Spain at the Confederation Cup?(teenny)
The truth is that nobody expected the US to beat Spain but that's just an example that in football 11 will play against 11 and anything can happen.
Where were you when Spain won the 2008 Eurocup?(arooj)
I was in Menorca enjoying my vacations.
What are your thoughts on the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo? Will he be as successful as he was in England?
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world along with Leo Messi, but we'll see if he can adapt quickly to the Spanish League. Even so, I do not have fear for any football player, the only thing I have for them is respect.
Who's better, Ronaldo or Messi?
Cristiano and Leo are both very good players but at the same time they're very different. Each player has a characteristic better than the other. Both are very complete, but if I had to choose one over the other I would go with Leo because he was a teammate of mine.
These days, there are people who recognize me, especially people in my town. Here, the people are very happy to see a footballer in the Primera Division who has played with FCB from [my town] Jávea. Football nowadays, you could say is the culture of many nations and because of this the people know a lot about their idols.
Have you met any crazy fans? (karen_ronaldo)
I have had many experiences with fans, all of them good. It makes me very happy that people recognize and love my work.
Is Iniesta really that pale in person? (davidsilvalover)
Iniesta is an extraordinary person and very nice. Yes it's true that he's a bit introverted and a bit pale in the skin. Haha, but for me he's one of the best players in the world.
Which player is your closest friend?(arooj)
Sergio Busquets of FC Barca
Who smelled the worst after training? (luckiey_starrz)
The truth is, no one smells bad because we're all coquetos* who wear the best deodorants and the best fragrances, hahaha.
*a 'coqueto' is someone who prefers to be well-kept and in some cases, is fussy with his appearance
The Beach or The Club?
I like both. I love going to the beach to tan and hang out with my friends, especially going out to spend time on my boat. I like the club when I'm on vacation, where I can go out for laughs with many of my friends.
Blondes or Brunettes?
Hahaha, I like them all! If I see a girl who impresses me, I don't care if she is blonde or brunette.
Nesquick or Cola Cao?
I also like them both but when we were little my mom would serve us Cola Cao
Burger King or McDonalds?
Haha, I don't usually go to many of those places because they're not very healthy for athletes! But if I go while I'm on vacation, it doesn't matter if it's McDonald's or Burger King. I go to the one that is the closest.
Pele or Maradona?
These historical players are not of my time and I can't really choose between them. Both have made history with their clubs and countries and both are emblems of the football world.
Xavi Hernandez or Fernando Torres?
They are two different players because one is a forward and the other is a midfielder. I would love to have both of them on my team, haha.
Can you cook?(shadow_sea)
My mother is a very good cook and taught me to cook some things. The best thing I can make is "el arroz a la cubana" (cuban-style rice)
What's your favourite movie?(teenny)
My favourite movie is Gladiator)
What's your favourite song?(sarcastic_ast)
My favourite song is Rayando el Sol by the group Mana
I don't have a favourite site, but I usually visit a lot of sports websites.
What were you like in school? (karen_ronaldo) We heard that Bojan is a math genius! What was your strongest subject?
I did very well in school (because my mother forced me to study a lot) and in fact, I'm finishing my teacher's certificate (called a "Magisterio") for a career in teaching. My favourite subject was math as well.
What are your hobbies outside of sports?(orginialidad)
I really like fishing and playing paddle
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up? (orginialidad)
Haha, when i was a kid I wanted to be a farmer (I really like animals)
A shot of a beach in Jávea, Spain
Where are the best places to go in your city?
Malaga and Barcelona are two very nice cities. But I like to stay in my town Jávea, which lies on the coast of Alicante with many beautiful beaches and charming people.
...and that's it! Thanks so much to Xavi for taking the time to do this and we wish him all the best for the upcoming season!
Xavi has also made his mark on the modelling scene. Watch a video of him struttin' his stuff down the catwalk for Belgian fashion designer Dirk Bikkembergs here
Gallery of his presentation at Malaga
SPECIAL THANKS TO MY AMORES: _almagitana, kstew_robpattz & ayres_4 for helping out with the translations