The Manchester United and Spanish international, known for playing in between the lines, takes FourFourTwo through finding that space and also why Xavi is the best in the world.
What's the secret to keeping possession in tight spaces?
You need to look around - 360 degrees - all the time before you receive the ball. You need to know where you are, where your teammates are and where the opposition is. When you watch Spanish players, you'll see they always do this. Xavi is probably the best in the world at it. He is not that quick physically, but he's quick in his mind and that's one of the key qualities that great players possess.
How do you find those small pockets of space in a match?
When I'm looking to find space in which to receive the ball, some of that is instinctive. I have a natural feel for where the ball is going to go because I've played the game for so many years. You need to survey the pitch but also know your teammates. Anticipate where the defenders will move and try to offer a clear path for your teammate to find you.
Is this something you can work on in training?
It is something you can practice in training. It sounds like really obvious advice, but you need to think: where can I position my body to receive the ball best? Where is there likely to be more space? It's important to have a good sense of orientation as this will enable you to make the right decisions in different areas of the pitch and be decisive when the time comes.