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Xavi has announced that the 2018/19 season will be his final one as a professional footballer. The Terrassa native, who currently plays for Al-Sadd in Qatar, holds the all-time appearances record at FC Barcelona with 767, and scored 85 goals from 1998 to 2015.
Torchbearer for the Barça style
Xavi is a living example of FC Barcelona's emblematic style of play. He arrived at the Club in the 1991/92 season to play for Under-12 team, and La Masia became the place where he learned the fundamentals of the midfield from the man who would become his friend and mentor, Pep Guardiola, who Xavi would later succeed as the backbone of the Barça midfield for almost two decades.
Xavi debuted with the Barça first team under Louis Van Gaal, and was part of the team's glory years from 1998 to 2015. He made his biggest leap under Frank Rijkaard and became a superstar under Guardiola. Xavi was the first captain of the team for his final season, following the retirement of Carles Puyol.
Xavi won 25 titles at Barça, including the famous treble seasons of 2008/09 and 2014/15. In total, Xavi: 8x La Liga, 3x Copa del Rey, 4x UEFA Champions League, 2x FIFA Club World Cup, 6x Spanish Super Cup, and 2x UEFA Super Cup. He also was a six-time Copa Catalunya and one-time Catalunya Super Cup winner.
"It's been a privilege to play until the age of 39," Xavi announced. "This 2018/19 season will be my last as a player, but I hope the future offers the chance to be a coach."
Thus, Xavier Hernández confirmed his intention to follow in the footsteps of Johan Cruyff, and with the philosophy of La Masia, "which is the foundation of the way FC Barcelona play football."
"I like to see teams take the initiative on the field," he continued. "To play attacking football, and to demonstrate the essence of what we all have loved since our infancy: possession-based football."
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