Xavi Has Played His Final Game As A Professional Footballer

Legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez has officially played his final game as a professional footballer after deciding to call time on his stunning 20-year career in the game.

Earlier this month,the Barcelona icon announced that this season would be his last and yesterday he took to the pitch for the final time in Al Sadd's Asian Champions League game against Persepolis of Iran.

Captain for the match at the Azadi Stadium, Xavi was unable to prevent his side losing 2-0 but it was still a thoroughly wonderful send-off for one of the greatest players of our generation.

Xavi came through Barcelona's youth academy and made his first-team debut against RCD Mallorca.

He then went on to make over 500 appearances for the Blaugrana and won a total of 25 major honours, including eight La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys, six Supercopa de Españas and four Champions Leagues.

A gifted genius who was unfortunate to not pick up a Ballon d'Or in his glittering career, Xavi also lifted one World Cup and two European Championships in his 133 caps for the Spanish national team.

Image: PA
Image: PA

He played out the final years of his career in Qatar after leaving Barcelona following the 2015 treble-winning season under Barcelona.

Image: PA
Image: PA

And now aged, 39, he has retired from the beautiful game to concentrate on becoming a coach, with AS saying he is spend the next few days in Madrid to complete his UEFA Pro licence.

Xavi plans to begin life as a manager in Qatar but harbours hopes of a dream return to Barca in the near future.

"Now I start my career at zero, I can't start with a Ferrari or a transatlantic ship, I have to start with a small boat, a small car, test myself, gain experience, and yes, it's true that the objective is to return to Barcelona, but I'm calm," Xavi told Efe,via Barca Blaugranes.

"The idea is to start as a coach in Qatar, where there is not as much pressure, to test myself and to gain experience, and the objective is to return to Europe and most of all to Barcelona."

Happy retirement to one of the greats.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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