Xavi to announce Barcelona exit

The iconic midfielder is set to draw a line under a glittering career at the Catalan club by moving to the Middle East

Xavi will announce his decision to leave Barcelona on Thursday as he prepares for a summer move to Qatar with Al Sadd.

The 35-year-old midfielder has spent his entire career at the Catalan club and won an amazing 23 trophies in that time, but has decided to move on after spending much of the current campaign on the Blaugrana bench.

Xavi, who came close to a move to Al Sadd last summer before being persuaded to stay by Barca boss Luis Enrique, will meet the media on Thursday to explain his decision and is set for an emotional goodbye at Camp Nou against Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga on Saturday.

The World Cup winner, described by Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently as “the greatest midfielder in history”, can add two more trophies to his amazing collection before his departure, with Barca in action against Athletic Club in the final of the Copa del Rey later this month before facing Juventus in the Champions League showpiece on June 6.

If he wins just one of those, Xavi will become the most decorated player in the history of Spanish football, surpassing Real Madrid legend Paco Gento (both are tied on 23 titles at the moment).

The player’s father, Joaquin Hernandez, confirmed the playmaker’s imminent exit late on Monday night.

“Xavi is really excited about the offer from Qatar,” he told Spanish station COPE. “But it will be strange not to see him in a Barcelona shirt any more.”