After New York City FC’s head coach Jason Kreis cooled speculation surrounding a move for Xavi, it’s not much of a surprise to see the Barcelona legend reportedly closing in on a move to Qatar.
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According to reports from AS in Spain, Xavi will sign with Qatari outfit Al Sadd (the same club Real Madrid legend Raul played for) at the end of the current La Liga season and end his 24-year association with Barcelona after joining the Catalan club as an 11-year-old and becoming a influential figure for one of the best teams world soccer has ever seen.
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Xavi, 35, has seen minutes hard to come by at the Nou Camp during the 2014-15 campaign and NYCFC recently confirmed that they came close to signing the Spanish national team legend last season and were monitoring his situation once again.
However the 2010 World Player of the Year will now head to Qatar on a three-year deal, a country which has close links with Barcelona, and get paid $11 million a year to play for Al Saad. The report in AS also states that Xavi will study for his coaching badges at the Aspire Academy in Doha.
Is his decision to move to Qatar a snub for MLS and NYCFC? Perhaps. It would have certainly been quite something to see Xavi, Frank Lampard and David Villa all in the same team at Yankee Stadium. Soccer fans in America and NYC will be left wondering “what if?”
Now that the Xavi to MLS ship has sailed, the tiki-taka god is about to begin a new adventure in the Middle East on one final pay day to end his stunning career which has seen him win three UEFA Champions League titles, seven La Liga crowns, two Copa del Rey’s and two FIFA Club World Cups with Barca, plus a World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.