Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi Hernandez to retire at the end of the season

Former Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi Hernandez has announced his plans to retire from playing football, in the hopes of pursuing a coaching career.

The 37-year-old, who currently plays for Al-Sadd in the Qatar All-Stars league, knows that his contract is expiring at the end of the season and has no plans of extending it. For Xavi Hernandez, this will be the last season as a football player, with the Spaniard looking to get his coaching license.

A product of the infamous La Masia academy, the midfielder left Barcelona after spending nearly 24 years with the club in 2015. He started his career as a youth player, before becoming a staple in the team after being promoted in 1998 from the Barcelona B team. Xavi made his first-team debut in ’98 and went on to make 767 appearances for the Catalans, which is still a club record and could be for a long time.

However since 2015, the Spanish international has faded away from the limelight, playing for Al-Sadd Sports Club in Qatar. But now it looks like his illustrious career is coming to an end with the 37-year old telling Marca that this will be his last campaign. In an interview, Xavi said “I have had the luck of not having injuries, and I think my career has gone down progressively. 

I also see that I am getting more tired and that it is harder for me to recover, and I am sure that it is my last year as a football player. I have the idea of issuing a licence and becoming a coach next year.”

A senior career that spanned nearly three decades, and not to mention eight La Liga titles, four Champions League trophies and numerous other accolades, make up the man who was arguably the ticking heart of the best Barcelona and Spanish team till date. However, as if that weren’t enough, Xavi combined with both Xabi Alonso and Andres Iniesta to anchor the best Spanish team to back-to-back trophies including two Euros and their first World Cup win in 2010.

Author’s take:

Barcelona has an incredible tradition of letting their former players return as coaches for their youth and even senior teams. From the likes of Johan Cruff all the way to Luis Enrique, and of course the magnificent Pep Guardiola have all returned to coach the Catalans. Thus it would be no surprise if Xavi did eventually end up coaching his beloved Barcelona, someday in the near future.

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