Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi has officially hung up his boots after playing his final match for Al Sadd on Monday night.
According to Marca, the 39-year-old has called time on a trophy-laden playing career spanning 21-years, having spent the last four seasons in Qatar.
The Spaniard was on Barca’s books for 17 years, during which time he managed to win eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns.
Xavi also holds the club record for appearances in La Liga on 505 and across all competitions with 769 games under his belt in total.
The legendary ex-Barca superstar was widely revered as one of the finest midfielders of his generation and he also enjoyed unprecedented success at international level.
Xavi was part of the Spain squad which won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, with a 2010 World Cup win wedged in between.
The next step in the veteran midfielder’s career will likely be into management, as he nears the end of a UEFA Pro coaching course – according to AS.
AS reports Xavi has even set his sights on a return to Barcelona in the near future, but only once he has earned his stripes as a coach.
He stated last week: “One day I’ll go back to Barcelona. I now need to learn how to drive a car before I can put myself behind the wheel of a Ferrari.”
Capture this: Xavi Hernandez is retiring in the Azadi Staidum. Who would have thought? pic.twitter.com/TkkQtIRXqa
— BabaGol (@BabaGol_) May 20, 2019
Unfortunately, Xavi suffered defeat in his final outing as a player, as Al Sadd fell to a 2-0 loss in the Asian Champions League against Persepolis.
The mercurial playmaker did, however, manage to add to his impressive trophy haul during his time at the club, picking up Qatari domestic league, Emir of Qatar Cup and Qatar Cup winner’s medals.