Xavi Hernández opened his goalscoring account in La Liga 2012/13 last Saturday with the only goal of the match against Granada. It was his first of the season, but also means that he has now scored in 13 separate campaigns since making his first team debut in 1998. Not even club legends like César Rodríguez and Carles Rexach have managed to do that.
Record breaking season
Xavi Hernández was moved into a more attacking position when Frank Rijkaard took over as manager in 2003/04. That meant that although he was still the central playmaker, he also had more chances to shoot on goal. His goalscoring rate has generally increased since then, and his 10 goals in 31 games last term was even better than his personal best of seven in 2007/08.
Saturday’s goal against Granada was one of many vital scoring contributions the Catalan has made in his time at Barça. His first ever goal came in 1998 at Valladolid, and helped enormously towards the eventual title win under Louis van Gaal. He has also had the honour of scoring against Real Madrid. In 2004, he got FCB’s second in a 2-1 win at the Bernabéu, coming from a volley after an incredible assist from Ronaldinho, and he also opened the scoring on the night of the 5-0 win in 2010.
It is a long time since Xavi failed to score any goals in a Liga season. The last time was in 2005/06 when he only played 16 games because of knee injury. His other empty year was 1999/00, his second in the first team, when he was competing for a place with future manager Pep Guardiola and only played in 24 games. In total, in 419 appearances, the midfielder has scored 49 times.