STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Spain great Xavi Hernandez signs on for two more years in Qatar

The legendary former Barcelona and Spain midfielder will stay with the Doha-based club until the end of the 2020 season, according to a statement released by Al Sadd on social media.

Published: 25th May 2018 05:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th May 2018 05:04 AM   |  A+A-

Spain and Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez (File | AP)

By AFP

DOHA: Xavi Hernandez could play on until the age of 40 after it was announced on Thursday he has signed a two-year extension to his contract with Qatari club Al Sadd.

The legendary former Barcelona and Spain midfielder will stay with the Doha-based club until the end of the 2020 season, according to a statement released by Al Sadd on social media.

"I am happy to keep on being a part of the Al Sadd family for two more years," said Xavi.

"I am delighted to be at the club and with its fans. 

"Everyone here is one big family and I am satisfied and thrilled to continue."

Announcing the new deal on Twitter, Al Sadd said: "The maestro stays!"

Xavi joined Al Sadd in 2015, originally on a two-year contract, after making more than 700 appearances for the Catalan giants.

He extended the original contract by 12 months but the 38-year-old was widely expected to retire at the end of the Qatari domestic season, which finished earlier this month, to concentrate on earning coaching badges.

Xavi himself had even signalled that the season just ended would be his last and spoke about not being able to cope with the physical demands of professional football as he got older.

But with Al Sadd still in the AFC Champions League the player is still feeling good physically, announcing earlier this month that he would continue playing until the end of this year at least.

He has now changed his mind again.

Although criticised by some for choosing to see out his playing career in Qatar, the controversial host of the 2022 World Cup, Xavi has embraced life in the Gulf and his daughter was born in Doha in 2016.

Since being in the emirate he has been named as a global ambassador for the Qatar World Cup, helped in the official launch of Lusail stadium, the venue for the 2022 World Cup final, and has been strongly tipped to be the team's coach by the time the tournament comes around.

Xavi was a World Cup winner with Spain in 2010 and was handed 133 caps by the national side. 

He was also in a Barcelona side which took eight La Liga titles, four Champions League titles, and he became synonymous with the club's tiki-taka style of play.

Since playing in Qatar he has won three more trophies but none in the season just completed.

The announcement comes on the same day as his former Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta officially announced he was moving to play in Japan's J-League.

Stay up to date on all the latest Football news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp