Barcelona legend Xavi has praised supporters of Manchester United as well as those across the Premier League.
Xavi spent a number of years at Barcelona, where he experienced the fierce rivalry between the Catalan club and Real Madrid.
The midfielder believes English fans are much more respectful of their teams than their Spanish counterparts.
“I’ve always respected the English fans,” Xavi said.
“It’s like a religion in England, where the fans follow the team to every away game. In England, they roar the team from the first minute. I admire that. The atmosphere is different, the mentality different to the Latin one.
“The English respect the footballer. It’s a respected profession. In Spain, it’s not respected. The people say: ‘You live too well, you earn too much money, you don’t work’. That’s not true. Juan Mata told me a story last year. He said that when Manchester United finished seventh (in 2013-14), the fans applauded the team at the end of the season. Seventh! If that happened to us in Barcelona, they’d want to kill us in our cars!”
Man United’s away support, in particular, is considered to be among the most passionate in the Premier League. Mata was absolutely right to praise United’s fanbase to Xavi as there has been a number of occasions where they have been superb. For instance, the Old Trafford faithful applauded Radamel Falcao last season despite his obvious struggles in front of goal.