Xavi 'thrilled' with Al-Sadd deal
Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez has announced he will join Qatari side Al-Sadd this summer, ending his 24-year run with the Catalan giants.
The Spanish midfielder is the longest serving and most decorated Barca player having joined the club at the age of 11.
A World Cup winner with Spain, the 35-year-old has made over 500 appearances for the Blaugrana, clinching 23 trophies, including three Champions League and eight Primera Division titles.
"I would like to announce and confirm my departure from Barca at the end of the season," Xavi said at a press conference on Thursday. "It's a definite decision but a difficult one.
"I've been at the club for almost 25 years but this is the time for me to leave.
"I have a thrilling project in Qatar, I will play for Al-Sadd the next two seasons.
"I also have an enthusiastic project in the Aspire academy (a sporting academy based in Qatar).
"I will be able to work towards becoming a coach or a sporting director in the future.
"My hope and aim is for one day to return to work for Barca."