Barcelona legend Xavier "Xavi" Hernández Creus captained his side to one last victory in Berlin last night before he finally leaves the club that has been his home for the last twenty four years.
In the summer of 1998 Xavi made his debut in the Spanish Super Cup against Mallorca and scored a goal too.
From then on he would progress to become a player that will be remembered in footballing folklore as one of the greatest ever at doing what he did - basically, he did the simple things well.
A midfielder that set the tempo of games with mostly short but immensely accurate passing.
He succeeded where the likes of Didier Deschamps failed by getting worldwide acclaim for his role and the importance of it. Xavi’s importance for the Catalan giants has always been well appreciated by those inside the club with his midfield partner Sergio Busquets in particular glowing in his praise.
“He is the brains of the team, he gives it balance and never loses the ball,” said Busquets.
The challenge for Barca is to find someone to take over his mantle now he is on his way to earning millions of petro-dollars with Al Sadd of Qatar. That will be no mean feat.
He leaves the club with a total of twenty five trophies, including his fourth, and Barcelona’s fifth, Champions League triumph.
He led his team during a period that saw them go from a giant of Spanish football to the greatest club side the world has ever seen.
Adiós y gracias Xavi.