As Spain and Barcelona dominated both international and domestic football over a stunning four year period (2008-12), Xavi Hernandez was the beating heart of both record breaking sides.
Blessed with some of the most unique passing, vision and intelligence the game has ever seen, the diminutive midfielder was the man who made these teams filled with legends tick.
Highly regarded for his humble personality and team ethos, the Terrassa-born technician made 488 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 57 goals and providing a whopping 105 assists.
The 40-year-old’s storied career in Catalonia included an eye-watering seven La Liga titles along with four Champions League triumphs.
He retired in 2019 as Barcelona's all time record appearance holder, and second most deocrated Spanish player in history with 33 trophies in total, bettered only by partner in crime, Andres Iniesta.
And in a stroke of genius from our friends over in La Liga, analysts have put together a four minute, slow-motion highlight reel, that captures the genius of one the true greats.
Although renowned for his sublime vision and expert passing, the Spaniard would routinely rack-up more kilometres on the pitch than anyone else. All while seemingly not breaking a sweat.
But ultimately it was his passing that Xavi was celebrated for. A distributor of the ball like no other who could pick out an inch perfect pass no matter what the situation was during a game.
With midfield partner Iniesta also thriving under then manager Pep Guardiola, the duo became the most revered centre-mid partnership the world has ever seen, scoring wonder goals for fun and providing assists on a plate for fellow teammates.
They just don’t make them like Xavi anymore, a gentleman both on and off the pitch who no matter how much hype or success he received individually, would always put his team mates first.
The question is…are you listening Paul Pogba?
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