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Xavi during the match against Córdoba at Camp Nou / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Xavi Hernández Creus is leaving FC Barcelona after 17 years with the first team. One the most legendary figures in the Club’s history says goodbye at the age of 35 with a suitcase full of memories to accompany him on his way. Xavi has been the director of the Barça orchestra since he made his debut for the first team at the age of 18 on 18 August 1998. The coach who gave him that chance was Louis Van Gaal and Xavi repaid him with a goal on his debut in the Spanish Super Cup against Mallorca.

Since that day the figure of Xavi Hernández has developed to such a point that he now deserves a chapter of his own in the Club’s official history. In January 2011 he moved past Migueli’s record of 549 as the player with most appearances in a Barça shirt. Since then he has extended that record to a current total of 764 matches.

As he has admitted on many occasions, Xavi lived through one of the most difficult periods in the Club’s modern history. Nevertheless, just a few years later, with his unique way of reading the game, he led the most successful and best Barça side that has ever been seen. The man from Terrassa, just outside of the city of Barcelona, leaves the blaugranes with a sackful of trophies that includes eight league titles and three Champions League titles with possibly another to come with the final this season on 6 June. Xavi has played a vital role in each and every one of those successes.

Xavi leaves an important legacy in terms of his style of play. The midfielder consolidated on the field a way of playing that has become a prime characteristic of Barça in recent years. His millimetre perfect passes and his trademark ‘magic spin’ are stuff of legend and those qualities also helped the national team to great success, winning the European Championships in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup in 2010.

The Barça number 6 – previously 26 and 16 – has not only been a leader on the field. He has been a big influence in the dressing room and in recent years he has been one of the team’s captains along with that other great captain Carles Puyol. Now 35 years of age and having played under ten different coaches, Xavi leaves the Club but remains a forever a Barça legend.  

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Xavi, FC Barcelona's legend por fcbarcelona

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