[[DES_1]] FC Barcelona face Espanyol on Sunday at 5.00 PM CET in what promises to be a special game for Xavi Hernández, who is set to appear in his 30th city derby. He was still officially a Barça B player when Louis Van Gaal played him for the full ninety minutes of a 2-1 win at the Olympic Stadium in the 1998/99 season, his first ever experience of the fixture at the highest level.
Sixteen years later, Xavi Hernández can boast a fine record against his club’s local rivals. He has won 19 of the 29 derbies he’s appeared in, drawing eight and losing only twice. In those games, Barça have scored a whopping 54 goals compared to Espanyol’s 17.
This games have included some emphatic wins at the Camp Nou, especially those of 1998/99 (3-0), 1999/00 (3-0), 2003/04 (4-1), 2011/12 (4-0) and 2012/13 (4-0), as well as stunning 5-1 win in 2010/11 at Cornellà-El Prat.
Xavi and Luis Enrique were in the same squad from 1998 to 2004, and played together in every single derby during that period. Barça won all four of the games played at the Camp Nou (3-0, 4-2, 2-0 and 2-0), and also won twice at the Olympic Stadium (1-2, 1-3), with Espanyol managing draws in the other two meetings (1-1, 0-0).