The time has come to leave the football fields for one of the best players of all time. Xavi Hernandez, symbol of the best Barcelona and point of reference of the Spanish world champion selection in 2010, has left the field. Why will he be remembered forever in the history of this sport?
It is enough to remember the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to understand that Xavi Hernandez Creus will be an eternal legend of Spanish football. Although he was not the team captain, he was chosen among FIFA’s eleventh ideal for that match and, subsequently, surpassed 100 international matches with the team.
In addition, he was a glory of Barcelona FC, a team with which he won 25 titles in 17 seasons. And again, it was a fundamental component of the famous Barça directed by Pep Guardiola, considered by many to be the best – or at least the most prominent – in history. In this article, we retrace the career of Xavi Hernandez.
Xavi Hernandez’s unique play style
Xavi has been one of the best midfielders of recent times. His consistently precise position in midfield made it easier for his team to pass the ball, even in the most difficult situations.
Faithful to Johan Cruyff’s historical school and his legacy in Catalan football, Xavi Hernandez is a lover of offensive play, focusing on ball possession as the central element of all tactics.
While not a defensive midfielder par excellence, he has always been predisposed to collaborate on this aspect of the game.
In this way, he has been able to adapt perfectly to the needs of his coaches, who have had the opportunity to align many talented players at the same time. A clear example: the trio Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta.
He made his debut on 18 August 1998. During his club career, he played 767 games and scored 85 goals. This figure, for a player with his characteristics, is really high and has a lot to do with Xavi’s excellent talent for hitting free throws.
A winner like few others
In addition to his aesthetic and effective style, Xavi Hernandez was able to form great teams, many of them winners. In this way, he consecrated himself as the protagonist of all these competitions:
- Spanish league: with Barcelona, his only club in Spain, he won 8. He did so in the years 1999, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
- Copa del Rey : Three remained, in 2009, 2011 and 2015.
- Super cup of Spain : this is the trophy in which the winners of the two aforementioned competitions face off. Xavi has won it 6 times: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.
- UEFA Champions League : Won the highest competition in Europe in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015.
- European Super Cup : He raised it twice, in 2009 and 2011.
- Club World Cup : won two, in 2009 and 2011.
- FIFA World Cup : Reached the pinnacle of world football in South Africa 2010.
- Other titles with the selection : In addition to the World Cup, Xavi participated in the 1999 Nigeria U20 World Cup titles, the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games (with a sub 23 team) and the 2008 and 2012 Euro Cups with the senior team.
- Qatar titles : Emir Cup, Qatar Cup, Sheikh Jassim Cup and Star League.
In addition to this extensive roster, he has won numerous individual awards. He was FIFA B Bronze Ball (aka the third best player in the world) in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In addition, he has been chosen several times as the best player in the leagues and cups he has played and has complemented UEFA’s eleven ideals in various occasions.
The future as a coach of Xavi Hernandez
Recently, Al Sadd’s side announced the hiring of Xavi Hernandez as the new manager of their first team starting in July. This proposal comes with a major boost, as he got the last league played by the team in Qatar as a player.
How will Xavi’s teams play? Judging by his vision of football and his recent statements, he will try to follow the premises of the Catalan school. This means that he will try to improve offensive play, possession and pressure to retrieve the ball in the opposite court.
One thing is certain: with the continuity of Xavi Hernandez as the protagonist of football, even if he is in a minor league like Qatar, this sport will come out of it by winning. Even if we can no longer enjoy his passes and goals calculated to the millimeter, the essence of his game will certainly be reflected in his boys.