Barcelona legend, Xavi Hernandez, has announced his plans to retire from professional football at the end of this season.
The former Barcelona midfielder, who currently plays for Qatari side, Al Sadd, which he joined in 2015, after bringing his long association with Barcelona to an end, feels it is time at 39.
“This is my last season as a player, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me as a coach,” Xavi said.
“My philosophy as a coach reflects the style we developed for many years under the influence of Johan Cruyff and La Masia, and that has its greatest exponent in the way of playing football in Barcelona.
“I love seeing the teams take the initiative on the field, play attacking football and return to the essence of what we all loved since our childhood days: football possession.”
Xavi, who has contributed five goals and six assists in 16 appearances in all competitions for Al Sadd this season, remains Barcelona’s all-time record appearance-holder in La Liga with 505 appearances and an astonishing 769 in all competitions.
He notched 85 goals and 182 assists during his playing days for the Catalan side, winning La Liga eight times along with four Champions League titles, three Copas del Rey titles and two Club World Cups.
On the international scene, Xavi was a permanent fixture when Spain won the World Cup on African soil in 2010 along with two European Championship titles before and after that World Cup in South Africa.