(WATCH) Xavi and Diego Simeone share warm moment ahead of Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid

Xavi and Diego Simeone showed major respect for each other ahead of tonight’s La Liga showdown in Barcelona.

The pair are aiming for a positive result in Catalonia as they look to close the title gap on leaders Real Madrid at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.

As part of the pre-game build up, the two managers were interviewed within a joint interview in the tunnel, just minutes before kick off.

Despite the high stakes on offer in this meeting, the two managers, had nothing but warmth for each other’s work at their respective clubs.

🎙️| Xavi: “El Cholo manages to convey everything to the footballer.”

🎙️| Diego Simeone: “Xavi has returned to Barça what it always was.”

[via @MovistarFutbol] pic.twitter.com/shQ60QHL3B

— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) December 3, 2023

Maximum pre-game respect between Xavi and Simeone 🇪🇸🤝🇦🇷pic.twitter.com/eI1mtJzEpE

— Football España (@footballespana_) December 3, 2023

Xavi led Barcelona to a first La Liga title since 2019 at the back end of the 2022/23 campaign with Simeone steering Atletico back into a position to challenge for the title once again.

“El Cholo manages to transmit everything  he needs to his players”, stated Xavi.

“Xavi has returned to Barca what it always was”, added Simeone.

Xavi has enjoyed a strong record over Simeone in their recent meetings with three successive La Liga victories for Barcelona against Los Rojiblancos since February 2022.