Xavi: Ex-Barcelona & Spain midfielder to retire at end of season

Xavi
Xavi said an emotional farewell to Barcelona in 2015 and joined Al-Sadd, who he helped win the Qatar Cup in April

Former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi is set to retire at the end of the season and pursue a coaching career.

The 37-year-old, who has won four Champions Leagues, the European Championship twice and the World Cup, now plays for Qatari club Al-Sadd.

But he feels his ability to recover properly after games is declining.

He said: "It will surely be my last year of being a footballer. I have the idea of getting my coaching licence next year and being a coach."

Xavi, who won 133 caps for Spain during a 14-year international career that saw him lift the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, said his spell in the Middle East has helped him wind down.

"I've had luck not to be injured and I think my career has come towards its end," he told Spanish newspaper Sport.

"There's been a descent. Qatar allowed me this. Now I see myself being more tired, it's harder to recover."

Xavi, who left Barca in 2015 after 17 years, has won 31 trophies as a player - second only to former team-mate Andres Iniesta as the most successful Spanish player ever.

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