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Xavi and Barça are synonyms if you take a look in the dictionary. The midfielder came to the Club in 1992 and worked his way through the ranks before making his first team debut in August 1998 under coach Louis van Gaal in a 2-1 defeat against Mallorca in the Spanish Super Cup. Despite the defeat, Xavi scored his first goal as a blaugrana, a strike that set him on his way to a stellar career that saw him make 767 appearances in a Barça shirt.
Difficult start then trophy after trophy
A legendary career did not get off to the best of starts in terms of trophies for Xavi Hernández. A league title came in 1999 but it was not until the arrival of Frank Rijkaard as coach in 2003 did Xavi enlarge his collection of silverware. Under the Dutchman the midfielder won two league titles, a Spanish Super and the Champions League after the win in 2006 in Paris against Arsenal. With the arrival of Pep Guardiola as coach in 2008, Xavi became a vital part of the blaugranes' dazzling football.
With Guardiola as boss, Xavi claimed 14 trophies and was a part of the Club's first ever treble in 2009. Another treble was to follow in 2015 under Luis Enrique before the midfielder made his exit as a Barça player having won 27 trophies.
Xavi in an archive photo with 24 of the 27 trophies he won at Barça
A superb player
The numbers do not lie. 184 assists and 85 goals in a Barça shirt allowed him to come third on three occasions in the battle to be FIFA World Player of the Year. He was also voted six times in the FIFA World XI and six times in UEFA's team of the year. But more than the numbers, awards and trophies, Xavi is remembered for sublime skill as one of the best midfielders every to play the game.
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