Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has announced his retirement from a trophy-filled football career.
The veteran Spanish midfielder said that this past season in Qatar was his final as a player. Xavi’s Al-Sadd won the 22-game league season with 18 wins, 57 points and just one defeat.
“It’s been a privilege to play until the age of 39,” Xavi said, via Barcelona’s website. “This 2018/19 season will be my last as a player, but I hope the future offers the chance to be a coach.”
Xavi has been working as a player and youth coach since joining Al-Sadd in 2015 after winning the UEFA Champions League, and he’s expecting to become a coach full-time heading into the future.
“I like to see teams take the initiative on the field,” Xavi said. “To play attacking football, and to demonstrate the essence of what we all have loved since our infancy: possession-based football.”
Xavi finishes his career as one of the most decorated players in the history of football.
He won: Eight La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey, six Spanish Super Cup, four Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cup and two FIFA Club World Cup.
In Qatar, this was the first season Al-Sadd had won the title with him, making him go out a champion.
Internationally, Xavi helped Spain finally overcome its own shortcomings in midfield and led them to a four-year run with some of the most success anyone has ever seen. He also won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, and the 2010 World Cup with Spain, in South Africa.
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