The midfielder will turn 34 later this month and has spoken of his plans for retirement, confirming he wants to remain at Barca for the rest of his playing days, but can’t say for sure that’s what will happen.
“It’s difficult to finish the race here,” Marca reports Xavi as saying to Panenka magazine. “I do not know if I’ll finish at this club.
“I’d like to but I don’t know what will happen.”
Xavi’s current contract runs until 2016 and while he says he feels healthy, the amount of games played is starting to take a toll.
“I never wanted to miss even one game and that’s happened to me.
“Here in Spain we tend to exaggerate when a player is over 30. Honestly, this is the best I have felt in my career.
“I’m more mature, more mature physically, and I’ve learned more.”
Xavi also elaborated on his thoughts regarding Barcelona’s style of play and his role within the team.
“I hate to lose the ball. It’s like missing a shot.
“I’m happy playing with the Barca philosophy. Maybe I would have been happy playing at another club too, I don’t know. Barca has always been my priority.”
Xavi moved to criticise what he sees as an excessive focus on results, particularly those who value results above all else.
“Results are reassuring,” he said, “And people who don’t understand football much need results to reassure them.”
A senior player in the Spain set-up, Xavi warned against acting divisively and called for players from different parts of the country to pull together and avoid political strife.
“I’m a footballer. I don’t care if a player is Catalan, Basque or Andalusian.
“Winning a Champions League is the maximum level for your club. But for the national team, it’s winning a Euros or a World Cup.”
Xavi admitted that Jose Mourinho, the former Real Madrid Coach, came close to splitting the national team during his time in Spain, turning Xavi and Iker Casillas against each other.
“Mourinho is a coach who values results. He says he’s the Special One because he won things in so many countries. But I don’t like the way his teams play.
“Who remembers Inter winning the title? For me he has not left a legacy, unlike Cruyff in Holland.
“Di Matteo won the Champions League with Chelsea but I did not seem them play anything memorable.”
Despite retirement being in Xavi’s thoughts he did not commit to a career after hanging up his boots.
“I don’t know if I’ll be a coach, because I’m still playing and I haven’t thought about it yet.
“I love football and I will stay involved in it. What else would I do, devote myself to the economy?”
- Sports & Recreation