Five moments of Barcelona brilliance from departing Spaniard Xavi
After joining Barcelona in 1991 as an 11-year-old, legendary Spanish midfielder Xavi Hernandez will depart the Catalan club this summer and embark on a new journey with Qatari side Al Sadd, having signed a lucrative three-year deal.
Barcelona’s all-time record appearance holder and club captain will follow in the footsteps of former international teammate Raul, who also moved to Al Sadd in 2012 upon his departure form Real Madrid.
Xavi, now at 35 years if age, has become only a bit-part player under Luis Enrique, as the Spanish giants aim to clinch a historic treble this season, including a Champions League triumph over Juventus in Berlin (odds-on 4/11 with Coral).
Following the news of the 2010 World Cup winner’s imminent departure from the Nou Camp, here are five brilliant moments from Xavi’s trophy-laden club career.
Elegant El Clasico chip – 2004
As well as being the king of possession play and possessing a menacing talent of assisting from a deep position, Xavi also had an eye for a goal, especially in crucial matches.
Against bitter rivals Madrid, and in his younger days in 2004, Xavi marvellously finished off a sensational pass from Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho to put Barcelona in front.
Champions League final assist – 2009
The sublime Spaniard secured three Champions League trophy triumphs in career so far, but could soon add an incredible fourth when Enrique’s Catalans clash with Serie A champions Juventus in Berlin.
Xavi will look to go out on a high with yet another piece of silverware, having helped Barcelona capture a trio of success in Europe’s elite club competition.
Who could forget this superb assists for Lionel Messi’s goal in the 2009 final against Manchester United?
Opening strike in five-goal Madrid mauling – 2010
In what was a historic 5-0 thrashing over Jose Mourinho’s Galacticos, it was Xavi who opened proceedings at the Nou Camp, going on to play a starring role in such a one sided El Clasico encounter.
Set-piece stunner against Villarreal – 2010
The veteran midfield maestro managed to pop up in the box and slot home regularly in his career, but the former Spain international was also deadly from free-kicks.
This impressive effort against Villarreal proves exactly why Xavi struck fear into goalkeepers when lining up a set-piece.
Incredible La Liga strike against Granada – 2012
Xavi’s most recent goal on our list, and possibly the most spectacular. The stalwart skipper receives the ball on the edge of the Granada penalty area and fires home in ferocious fashion.
The pivotal playmaker will soon feature in his final Spanish league fixture and is 11/2 to make a goalscoring bow out against Deportivo.