Xavi set to retire from football after 21 years

Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi Hernandez has officially announced that he will retire from football after 21 years.

Xavi, who plays in Qatar for Al Sadd, confirmed in an open letter on Thursday that this will be his last season and that he will continue his career as a coach.

“It has been a privilege to play football up to age 39 and I would like to finish out the season on the top by winning the Amir Cup and reaching the next stage of the Asian Champions League.

“This is my last season as a player, but I really want to see what the future holds for me as a manager,” Xavi, who joined Barca’s senior side during the 1998-99 season, said in the letter.

The Barcelona academy product led the Catalan club to eight titles in La Liga as well as four Champions League trophies.

His total silverware for club and country, 31 trophies, is a number only surpassed by his longtime Spain and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta.

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