Xavi at the press conference

Xavi reckons Luis Enrique was key to his decsion/ PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Xavi Hernández spoke publically for the first time today about his decision to stay at the Club: “ I finished last season feeling a little disappointed. I had two  big collective and personal disappointments, maybe the biggest in my career.  I was benched for the last game of the season and I didn’t feel I was of any use to the team – the same feeling I had with Spain. So I decided, maybe a little too impulsively, to tell the Club that it was best for me to put an end to this part of my career. I hope that people can understand that decision”.It was purely a footballing decision and nothing to do with money or a lack of other alternatives, despite what has been written Xavi continued: “I went on holiday and spoke with Zubizarreta and Luis Enrique, who made me see that I can still be important here, useful and competitive. I want to thank the Club for their patience. It was purely a footballing decision and nothing to do with money or a lack of other alternatives, despite what has been written. Now I am happy here and still excited about the future”.

Xavi insisted that more than anybody else, Luis Enrique has been key in his decision to continue at the Club: “he spoke very clearly to me and made it clear that I was starting anew, just like everyone else and that I had to show what I could do in training, just like the rest of the squad . I like to feel that way. I know him from way back and I have a good relationship with him. I am starting again, feeling strong and excited.”.We voted on the captaincy in the changing rooms this morning – I’m prepared to do whatever is needed

Xavi also confirmed his retirement from international football and revealed that: “we voted on the captaincy in the changing rooms this morning – I’m prepared to do whatever is needed, I would be proud to take over from Carles Puyol”.

Xavi also referred to his first impressions of Luis Enrique’s new Barça: “I ‘ve got a good feeling and the new signings are good .I think we will achieve things at the end of the season”. The return of Neymar, Alves, Messi and Mascherano this morning is “really important for us, they trained apart, but they all seemed happy”.We will be waiting for Luis Suarez with open arms. It’s a spectacular signing Finally, quizzed about the signing of Luis Suárez, Xavi explained “it’s a spectacular signing. I think he’s one of the best forwards in the world. He’s coming off a great season and we just have to wait on his suspension – let’s hope it gets reduced a little. I have a good relation with him and I think he’s a good person. He’s apologised and we will be waiting for him with open arms”.