After more than 600 matches, it’s only natural that Xavi signs one more contract that promises he’ll end his career with Barcelona, the only club he’s ever played for, unless you count the B team during his first few years as a footballer.
At 32, with six league titles and three champions league trophies behind him, the ‘last of the playmakers’ as someone once called him (although people always say that about the demise of the role) is still as influential and crucial to Barcelona’s style and success as he has been for the last six-seven seasons. If you needed numbers and goals to convince you, his fantastic strike against Granada should do the job.
With his contract running out in 2014 and Barcelona in a mood to seal things for the very long term at the moment (example – Messi), Xavi, his agent and the club are looking to not just rely on the option to renew it for two years, and make it certain that the club’s record holder in appearances (637 for the senior team, 698 including Barcelona B matches) stays playing at the Nou Camp forever.
The club let us know last Friday of their intention to renew the contract because they want Xavi to continue with them. We appreciate their move and expect that things will start to develop. As his contract ends in 2014, and he is an important member of the squad, it is usual to begin to talk now because next June would be too late.
We have always reached an agreement in the past. I am sure it will be like that this time. For the player it is very important to know that the club remains confident in him. I do not think there will be any problems.
Tito Vilanova is trying to use Xavi sparingly in Barcelona’s matches earlier this season, maybe to pave way for the future or possible to keep him fresh and rested for the later stages of the season. Unfortunately, Cesc Fabregas isn’t doing a good job playing for Andres Iniesta or for Xavi, and it seems that in those matches, Barcelona seem to be stuck up to the moment when Xavi steps on the pitch and organizes everything.
With the return of Thiago, Vilanova will probably try a bit more with the midfield experimenting and combination, looking for something that can work without having to play Xavi as a starter, to give the player who is obviously a tad struggling to cope with starting 40-50 matches a season a bit more rest before the more important tests waiting down the road.