BELO HORIZONTE- Barcelona legend Xavi Hernández appears to have made up his mind and has seen his days as the control center of the Blaugrana midfielder come to an end. Late Sunday Doha-based network beIN Sports reported that the all-time leader in appearances for the Catalans decided to leave the club and head to Qatar and play for Al-Sadd beginning next season as will Hatem Ben Arfa.
This comes after a conversation that the midfielder had with new Barça coach Luis Enrique. In that conversation, the player wanted to get an idea as to where he would fall in the coach's plans for the upcoming season.
This new was also confirmed by Catalan daily Sport when they mentioned that the team vice-captain had come to terms on a three-year deal worth €8.3 million (US$ 11.2 million) per season. This would end speculation of a move to Major League Soccer for the playmaker as his name was mentioned alongside David Villa to join the expansion side starting next season.
Xavi is currently with the Spanish national team as they prepare for their must-win match against Chile at the Estadio Maracanã on Wednesday. A loss would see the Spaniards out of the tournament after having lost to the the Netherlands in the World Cup debut on Friday by 5-1.
Xavi, 34, is the all time leader in appearances with FC Barcelona with 723 and is one of the winningest players in club history with 22 trophies as well as a World Cup and two European titles with the national team. He was also one of the players that endured the most brilliant era at the club as well as some of the darkest times after winning his first title when he debuted with the club back in the 1998-99 season.
The native of Terrassa, Spain now becomes the latest player to decide to the leave the Blaugrana after the retirement of Carles Puyol as well as the departure of Jose Manuel Pinto and the departure of Cesc Fábregas to Chelsea earlier in the week.