Barcelona Legend Xavi Announces Retirement at End of Season, Wants to Coach

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2019

DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 30: Xavi Hernandez of Al Sadd in action during the Qatar Stars League match between Al Duhail and Al Sadd at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium on March 30, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Barcelona legend Xavi has announced he will retire as a player at the end of the season, and he'll look to transition into coaching.

Per Goal, the 2010 World Champion announced the news on Thursday:

Goal also shared his remarkable collection of silverware:

The 39-year-old has been playing in Qatar for Al Sadd since 2015 but is best remembered for his time with Barcelona. A product of the Catalans' academy, he spent over two decades with the Blaugrana.

Per Goal, Xavi said his coaching philosophy is heavily inspired by Johan Cruyff and his old club, opening the door for a potential stint as Barcelona manager at some point in the future:

The midfielder was the creative brain behind the most dominant period in Blaugrana history between 2008 and 2015. In total, he won an incredible eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League trophies during his time at the club.

Known for his remarkable passing ability, he made some of his most iconic plays in the biggest games:

His success also carried over to the international stage, where he won two European championships with Spain and played a key role in La Roja's first-ever world title in 2010. Xavi retired from international duty in 2014.

He was never overly reliant on athleticism or physical strength, which is why he was able to play at a high level with Barcelona until 2015 and in Qatar until the age of 39.

Barcelona midfielder Arthur explained how the Spaniard was an example for him growing up, per beIN Sports USA:

Xavi's game was always built around his vision and creativity, traits that should serve him well as a coach. He'll likely be in high demand, but he could follow the example of former team-mate Pep Guardiola.

The Manchester City boss transitioned into coaching in Catalonia, learning the ropes with the youth sides before taking control of the senior team.ย ย 

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