Xavi has replaced Iniesta / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

After coming on as a substitute at the Power8 Stadium this Saturday, Xavi can now claim to have made 500 appearances in the Spanish Liga. All of those games have been in an FC Barcelona shirt and put the midfielder eighth in the all-time ranking.

Seven titles, 57 goals and 96 assists

Xavi Hernández’s seven league titles (1999, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2013) are an all-time record. He made his first team debut under Louis Van Gaal in 1997/98 and has had eight other coaches since the Dutchman: Serra Ferrer, Rexach, Antic, Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova, Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino and Luis Enrique.

Born in Terrassa, just outside Barcelona, he has single-handedly changed the meaning of the term ‘central playmaker’, and is the person thousands of young midfielders now turn to for inspiration. He’s scored 57 goals and provided 96 assists in those 500 league outings – having scored at least one in every campaign apart from 2005/06 and getting as many as ten in 2011/12, an extraordinary figure for somebody whose primary role is not to score goals but to help build them up for others.

Eighth of all time

Xavi is only the eighth player to break the 500 mark since the Spanish championship started almost nine decades ago. The all-time record belongs to Zubizarreta (Athletic Club, Barça and Valencia) with 622 appearances, followed by Raúl González (Real Madrid, 550), Eusebio (Valladolid, Atlético Madrid, Barça and Celta, 543), Paco Buyo (Sevilla, Real Madrid, 542), Manolo Sanchís (Real Madrid, 523), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, 507) and Miquel Soler (Espanyol, Barça, Atlético Madrid, Sevilla, Zaragoza and Mallorca, 504).

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