Xavi Hernandez

Xavier Hernández (born 25 January 1980 in Terrassa, Barcelona, Catalonia), commonly known as simply Xavi, is a Spanish footballer who plays as a central midfielder for La Liga club FC Barcelona, where he has spent his entire 14-year career. He has been capped 103 times for the Spanish national team, with whom he won UEFA Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. He was named Player of the Tournament by UEFAat UEFA Euro 2008.

Xavi is a product of Barcelona’s La Masia youth system and has been a regular at Camp Nou since the age of 11. He made his way through the youth and reserve teams and was a key member of Jordi Gonzalvo’s FC Barcelona B team that won promotion to the Second Division.

His progression through the teams earned him a first team debut on 18 August 1998 in the Super Cup final, in which he scored against RCD Mallorca. His début in La Liga came against Valencia CF on 3 October 1998 in a 3–1 victory for Barcelona. Initially featuring intermittently both for the reserve and senior teams, Xavi scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory over Real Valladolid when Barcelona were 10th in the league. Sustained impressive performance meant that he became a key member of Louis van Gaal’s title-winning team. An injury to Pep Guardiola in the following 1999–00 season meant that Xavi became Barcelona’s principal playmaker, a position he has retained ever since.

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