After 17 years as a member of Barcelona’s first team, Xavi Hernández has announced that this summer he will be leaving the club to play for Al-Sadd.
“I would like to confirm and announce my exit from Barça. I think it’s time to go, to have a change of scene. I have an exciting project in Qatar. I’ll play for Al-Sadd for the next two seasons and after that train to be a manager and sports director at the Aspire academy.
Thanks to Barcelona: “I would like to thank the club that has trusted me for so long. In these last few weeks they offered a contract renewal until 2018 but the decision was already taken.”
Why now? “Last summer was perhaps too soon. I had two great disappointments – one with the national team and the other with Barça. The club has offered me a fantastic renewal deal, but I think that it’s time to go. I don’t have the minutes that I’d like; I don’t feel like I did before. It’s time.”
When did the dressing room find out? “Some of my teammates were told as things progressed. Today I told all of them, the gaffer, but it was easy to see coming. I made the decision months ago.”
How would you like to be remembered? “I would like to be remembered as a person who gave it his all for Barça as well as the national team.”
Your happiest memory? “It’s hard to choose just one specific moment. For me, Barça are the best club in the world. I have been very happy here. I think I get on with everybody; I don’t have any enemies in the world of football.”