It's top secret: Barcelona superstar Xavi talks dinner with De Niro and Diego
22:30 GMT, 7 December 2012
Barcelona's midfield maestro Xavi tells Sportsmail's Alex Kay about his sporting heroes, his unwavering loyalty to his club and his love of Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen and Argentina legend Diego Maradona.
Maestro: Xavi (centre) pulls the strings in Barcelona's midfield
Who is your sporting hero
I have said I think Paul Scholes is the best midfield player of the last 20 years. He is a great role model as well.
Of course, though, like most Barcelona central midfielders, my idol was Pep (Guardiola).
What would you be if you weren't a sportsman
Like so many of the players I started at La Masia at the age of 11. I can't ever imagine not playing for Barcelona, let alone not playing soccer for a career. I don't ever want to play anywhere else.
Hero: Xavi believes Paul Scholes is one of the best central midfielders in the past 20 years
In terms of what the game means, how can you ever beat playing a World Cup final that you win You can't is the answer.
The best game I ever played in was when we beat Real Madrid 5-0. The feeling of total superiority was incredible. We just stood in the dressing room afterwards clapping ourselves. It was a surreal experience.
… and the worst moment
It was when we found out, as a team, about team-mate Eric Abidal's liver cancer. It put everything else into perspective. I remember thinking how strong he was and he was encouraging us as much as we were encouraging him.
In perspective: Xavi says being told about Eric Abidal's liver cancer was the worst moment of his career
If your house was burning down, what one possession would you save
Just the things that can't be replaced. There is no money in the world that can replace the jersey you were wearing when you lifted the World Cup.
What's your favourite song
Losing My Religion by REM. I love all of their stuff.
What's the programme you can't miss on TV
I don't actually watch many shows. I will either watch movies or football. I enjoy to watch games in the Premier League and will also watch movies a lot as well.
That is how I relax.
Last film you saw
The Lincoln Lawyer. It was really good.
If you could have dinner with three famous people, who would it be and why
People I admire in the things that I like. I would choose Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen, and Diego Maradona.
Born to run: Xavi idolises rock star Bruce Springsteen
Can you cook
I am competent enough but I won't try anything tough. Probably just pasta, grilled chicken, and a little olive oil.
Your favourite holiday destination
Ibiza is a popular vacation place for a lot of the players in Spain. If you go in the summer there are some of the world's most famous movie and music stars so nobody cares about soccer players.
In a film of your life, who would you like to play you
I am not known for being a tall player so you would have to take that into account. Probably somebody like Matt Damon.
Tell us a secret…
We were playing at the Bernabeu when I was about 18 and things got a little heated between the players. Raul came up and gave me a cuff round the ear and said calm down. He is one of my great friends now – but what he was saying is: 'Know your place, kid, there is hierarchy.'
Best of enemies: Former Real Madrid star Raul clipped Xavi round the ear to put him in his place