Xavi

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Xavi
Xavi Euro 2012 vs France 02.jpg
Xavi playing for Spain at Euro 2012
Personal information
Full name Xavier Hernández i Creus[1]
Date of birth (1980-01-25) 25 January 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Terrassa, Spain
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Barcelona
Number 6
Youth career
1991–1997 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2000 Barcelona B 61 (4)
1998– Barcelona 469 (56)
National team
1997 Spain U17 10 (2)
1997–1998 Spain U18 10 (0)
1999 Spain U20 6 (2)
1998–2001 Spain U21 25 (7)
2000 Spain U23 6 (2)
2000– Spain 130 (13)
1998– Catalonia 10 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 April 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Xavier "Xavi" Hernández i Creus (Catalan: [ˈ(t)ʃaβi ərˈnandəz i ˈkɾɛws], Spanish: [ˈtʃaβj erˈnandeθ i ˈkɾeus]; born 25 January 1980), is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for FC Barcelona in La Liga and the Spanish national team, as a central midfielder.

Xavi came through La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy, at the age of 11. He made his first-team debut against RCD Mallorca on 18 August 1998. Since then he has played 700 matches, scored 82 goals and made more than 180 assists for over 50 players. Xavi is the first player in FC Barcelona's history to play 150 international matches.[3] He is considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of all time and one of the best playmakers of his generation.[4][5][6][7]

Xavi won the U-20 World Cup for Spain in 1999, and the Olympic Silver Medal at the 2000 Olympics. Since making his senior team debut in 2000, he has been capped 130 times for the Spanish national team, and has been seen as an influential figure in the team's tremendous success. He played a key role in Spain's victory at the 2010 World Cup, as well as both Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. He was named Player of the Tournament by UEFA at Euro 2008.[8] Xavi was selected in the 2010 World Cup All-star Team, and the UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament in 2008 as well as 2012. Playing for Barcelona, Xavi won the Man of the Match award in the Champions League Final in 2009.

Xavi has won more trophies (25) than any other Spanish player in history.[9][10] He won the World Soccer Player of the Year award in 2010. Xavi has received five Ballon d'Or nominations, and finished in third place in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2011, he was runner up to Messi for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. He has been awarded the IFFHS World's Best Playmaker award for 4 years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. Xavi has been included in the UEFA Team of the Year for 5 years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), and has been voted into the FIFA World XI on 6 occasions: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. At Euro 2012, with his 2 assists in the Final, Xavi became the first player to register assists in 2 separate Euro finals, having set up the lone goal in the Final 4 years earlier.[11] He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports in 2012.

Early life

Born in Terrassa, Barcelona, Catalonia,[2] Xavi is a product of Barcelona's La Masia youth system and has been a regular at Camp Nou since the age of 11. His father, Joaquim, was a former player for Sabadell in the first division.[12] Xavi made his way through the youth and reserve teams and was a key member of Josep Maria Gonzalvo's FC Barcelona B team that won promotion to the Second Division.

Club career

Barcelona

1998–2001

His progression through the teams earned him a first team substitute appearance in a friendly match against Southampton on 12 May 1998[13] and he made his competitive debut on 18 August 1998 in the Super Cup final, in which he scored against RCD Mallorca. His début in La Liga came against Valencia CF on 3 October 1998 in a 3–1 victory for Barcelona. Initially featuring intermittently both for the reserve and senior teams, Xavi scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory over Real Valladolid when Barcelona were 10th in the league. Sustained impressive performance meant that he became a key member of Louis van Gaal's title-winning team. Xavi finished his debut season with 26 matches played and winning the Spanish League. He also was named 1999 La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year.

Xavi became Barcelona's principal playmaker after an injury to Pep Guardiola in the 1999–00 season.

2001–2003

In these years FC Barcelona was on the verge of bankruptcy and struggling to keep its place in the elite of Spanish league. With the generation of Cocu, Rivaldo, Kluivert and his young teammate Puyol, Xavi would become one a player to dominate the game. Playing in the midfield, but with more defensive role, Xavi made 20 assists and scored 7 goals in those two seasons. On 16 March 2002, Xavi scored his first goal in El Clasico.

2004–2008

Xavi warming-up for Barcelona

He was named the vice-captain in the 2004–05 season and helping the Catalans to win Spanish League and Spanish Supercup.

Xavi was named La Liga Spanish Player of the Year in 2005.

In the 2005–06 season, Xavi tore the ligaments in his left knee in training; he was out of action for four months, missing a part of the season, but returned in April and was on the substitutes bench for the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. He also won the Spanish League and Spanish Supercup again.

2008–09 season

Xavi takes a corner during the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup Final

After being named the Euro 2008 MVP, Xavi was approached by German giants Bayern Munich. Before the move was completed, though, Pep Guardiola was named as new Barcelona coach and stopped Xavi from leaving.[14]

He was a main part of Barcelona's treble and scored the 4th goal in the 4–1 win in the Copa del Rey 2008–09 final against Athletic Bilbao, with a free kick. In La Liga, among many games, one of the most significant is the 6–2 El Clásico victory vs Real Madrid on 2 May. He assisted 4 out of 6 goals (once to Puyol, once to Henry and twice to Messi). Finally, Xavi helped Barcelona win the 2009 Champions League Final versus Manchester United, which ended 2–0, assisting the second goal by passing the ball to Lionel Messi's header after 69 minutes. Xavi was voted "UEFA Champions League best midfielder" for his contribution during Barcelona's victorious 2008–09 UEFA Champions League campaign.[15] Xavi was La Liga's highest assisting player with 20 assists.[16] He was also the highest assisting player in the Champions League with 7 assists. Xavi earned 29 assists overall that season.

Xavi is under contract to Barça until 2014 after extending his contract during the 2008–09 season. The new contract makes him one of the club's biggest earners, with a salary of €7.5 million a year.

2009–10 season

During the 2009–10 season, journalists increasingly noted Xavi's contribution to the Barcelona side(monetary). For example:

"Quite simply the best midfielder of modern era. World class for several years now, it is the past three seasons in particular where the 30-year-old has been untouchable. Xavi’s passing is up there with Michel Platini, he creates countless goals with genius through balls while virtually never relinquishing possession."[17]

In the 2009–10 season, Xavi again topped the assists table and provided both the assists in Barcelona's 2–0 victory against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. He was acclaimed the 2nd best player of Barcelona in a season-long voting as Barcelona won the league title with a record 99 points.[citation needed] On 3 June 2010, the Madrid-based newspaper Marca awarded Xavi third place in the annual Trofeo Alfredo di Stéfano award for the best player in La Liga, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.[18]

2010–11 season

On 9 June 2010, Xavi signed a new 4 year contract with the club, which may be automatically renewed up to 30 June 2016 based on number of games played.[19] On 29 November he scored his third goal against arch-rivals Real Madrid in a 5–0 home win. On 18 December he scored another goal against RCD Espanyol in a 1–5 win. In the Champions League, Xavi scored a valuable goal against English side Arsenal during a home match in the UEFA Champions League that saw Barcelona passing through to the quarter-finals with an assist by teammate David Villa.

He was one of the three finalists for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or, alongside Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta. He finished third on the vote behind Messi and Iniesta.[20][21] He narrowly defeated Messi to win Player of the Year designation from World Soccer Magazine.

Xavi playing for Barcelona in 2012

On 2 January 2011, in a league match against Levante UD, Xavi made his 549th appearance for the club in all competitions, matching the record held by Migueli. Following this match Xavi is the player with most appearances with Barcelona of all time.[22]

2011–12 season

Xavi began the 2011–12 season in fine goalscoring form and seemed to grow in his influence of the team despite the long anticipated return of Cesc Fàbregas and the promotion of Thiago Alcântara to create added competition for places in Barca's star-studded midfield.

On 18 December, in the final of the Club World Cup (4–0 against Santos), Xavi scored a goal and made a perfect assist to Lionel Messi, after the ball was slightly behind him, Xavi brought the ball down with a cocked leg, effectively using his ankle to control it, before slipping a pass through to Messi, who scored the first goal.

Xavi scored the winning goal in the Group H game against Milan, a vital match for Barcelona's progression in the UEFA Champions League.

2012–13 season

On 18 December 2012, it was announced that Barcelona renewed the contract of Xavi, extending it until 30 June 2016.[23] Xavi scored a goal vs Real Madrid in the match that Barcelona won 3–2. Xavi was one of the formation of the year represented by FIFA. Xavi was also introduced into the FIFA World XI, along with teammates Dani Alves, Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

2013–2014 season

On 16 January 2014, Xavi made his 700th appearance for the first team against Getafe CF in the Copa del Rey.[24]

International career

Xavi and Spain captain Iker Casillas with the Euro 2012 trophy

Xavi's abilities on the football pitch have led his teams to numerous titles and placed him among the most decorated footballers of all time. The playmaker has won major international titles with Spain.

He played for the nation at the 2000 Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2004, 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2012, and 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

UEFA Euro 2008

Xavi playing for Catalonia in 2009.

Xavi was named Euro 2008's player of the tournament after Spain defeated Germany 1–0 in the final. Xavi was dominant in midfield, making tackles, shaping attacks and driving Spain to their first silverware since the 1964 European Championships.

"We have chosen Xavi because he epitomizes the Spanish style of play. He was influential in the whole possession, passing and penetrating kind of game that Spain played," said Andy Roxburgh head of UEFA's technical committee.

  • Semi-finals – Russia v Spain (0–3)

Xavi scored the first goal of Spain in the semi-final against Russia. His goal had stunned the Russians.

  • Final – Germany v Spain (0–1)

Xavi made a perfectly weighted ball, rolled towards the German area, from which Torres scored the final winning goal.

2010 World Cup

Xavi was named to Spain's squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with the team winning the World Cup title.

He was able to provide the most number of passes and he crossed the ball inside the 18 yard box more than any other player performing in that tournament. For example, in the final he made 57 accurate forward half passes.[25]

Xavi also covered a lot of distance on the pitch – 80.20 kilometres throughout the competitions, which average at approximately 11.5 kilometres per game.[26] In the final he covered a distance of almost 15 kilometres.[27]

  • Round of 16 – Spain v Portugal (1–0)

After a backheel pass from Xavi Hernandez in the 63rd minute, David Villa had his shot with his left foot blocked by Eduardo, but then he put in the rebound with his right foot for the winning goal.[28]

Xavi (left) is tackled by Italy's Riccardo Montolivo at the Euro 2012 Final
  • Semi-finals – Germany v Spain (0–1)

Xavi snaps the corner out to the edge of the six-yard box, where Puyol makes a header into the top-right corner.[29]

UEFA Euro 2012

"Pum, pum, pum, pum" – Xavi describes the sound of the ball moving between him and Iniesta.[30]

  • Group C – Spain v Republic of Ireland (4–0)

Xavi made most passes attempted in a European Championship match: 136 (127 completed, 94% success rate). Previous record for most passes attempted had been set by Ronald Koeman at 117 in Euro 1992 match between Holland and Denmark. Xavi and Iniesta made 229 passes in this match, more than the combined Irish 11 managed.

  • Final – Spain v Italy (4–0)

Xavi played for Spain at Euro 2012, which Spain won by defeating Italy in the final. With Xavi providing two assists in the final, one for Jordi Alba, and another one, like 4 years ago, for Fernando Torres, he became the first player to register assists in two European Championship finals.[11] With his victory in UEFA Euro 2012, Xavi became the most successful player in Spanish Football History, a feat that he previously shared with Carles Puyol, who missed the entire tournament.[11]

Style of play

The claim that Xavi is one of the best central midfielders of his generation[4][5] relies largely on his ability to find and exploit space. As he said: "That's what I do: look for spaces. All day. I'm always looking".[31] Xavi's abnormally good vision, pinpoint accurate passing and world class ball control allow him to dictate the flow of play whilst rarely relinquishing possession. His ability to completely control some matches has earned him the sobriquet, "The Puppet Master".[32][33] Barcelona president Sandro Rosell believes Xavi is the main architect of the club's Tiki-taka style of play.[34]

Personal life

On 13 July 2013, Xavi tied the knot with his girlfriend, Núria Cunillera, at the Convent de Blanes in Girona, Catalonia. About 180 of the couple's close family and friends were in attendance for the ceremony. Núria is a fashion journalist and has been Xavi's partner since before the European Championship in 2012. The couple is known for their privacy and discretion, with no speculation about their plans reported by the press before their announcement. They spent their honeymoon in the popular luxurious islands of Seychelles, before Xavi reported for preseason training on the 29th of July.[35]

Career statistics

As of match played 16 April 2014.[36][37]

Club

Club Season League Cup Europe Other[38] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcelona B 1997–98 39 3 39 3
1998–99 18 0 18 0
1999–2000 4 1 4 1
Total 61 4 61 4
Barcelona 1998–99 17 1 2 0 6 0 1 1 26 2
1999–2000 24 0 4 1 10 1 0 0 38 2
2000–01 20 2 7 0 9 0 36 2
2001–02 35 4 1 0 16 0 52 4
2002–03 29 2 1 0 14 1 44 3
2003–04 36 4 6 0 7 1 49 5
2004–05 36 3 1 0 8 0 45 3
2005–06 16 0 0 0 4 0 2 0 22 0
2006–07 35 3 7 2 7 0 5 1 54 6
2007–08 35 7 7 1 12 1 54 9
2008–09 35 6 5 1 14 3 54 10
2009–10 34 3 3 2 11 1 5 1 53 7
2010–11 31 3 6 0 12 2 1 0 50 5
2011–12 31 10 7 2 9 1 4 1 51 14
2012–13 30 5 5 0 11 1 2 1 48 7
2013–14 25 3 5 0 10 1 2 0 42 4
Total 469 56 67 9 160 13 22 5 718 83
Career totals 530 60 67 9 160 13 22 5 779 87

International

As of 11 October 2013[39]
National team Season Apps Goals
Spain 2000–01 1 0
2001–02 5 0
2002–03 8 0
2003–04 5 0
2004–05 8 1
2005–06 13 0
2006–07 7 3
2007–08 16 4
2008–09 14 1
2009–10 17 0
2010–11 7 1
2011–12 14 1
2012–13 11 1
2013–14 4 1
Total 130 13

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 26 March 2005 El Helmántico, Salamanca, Spain  China PR 2–0 3–0 Friendly
2 6 September 2006 Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland  Northern Ireland 0–1 3–2 Euro 2008 qualifying
3 11 October 2006 Nueva Condomina, Murcia, Spain  Argentina 1–0 2–1 Friendly
4 2 June 2007 Skonto, Riga, Latvia  Latvia 0–2 0–2 Euro 2008 qualifying
5 12 September 2007 Carlos Tartiere, Oviedo, Spain  Latvia 1–0 2–0 Euro 2008 qualifying
6 21 November 2007 Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain  Northern Ireland 1–0 1–0 Euro 2008 qualifying
7 4 June 2008 El Sardinero, Santander, Spain  United States 1–0 1–0 Friendly
8 26 June 2008 Ernst Happel, Vienna, Austria  Russia 0–1 0–3 UEFA Euro 2008
9 20 August 2008 Parken, Copenhagen, Denmark  Denmark 0–2 0–3 Friendly
10 29 March 2011 Darius and Girėnas, Kaunas, Lithuania  Lithuania 0–1 1–3 Euro 2012 qualifying
11 6 September 2011 Las Gaunas, Logroño, Spain  Liechtenstein 3–0 6–0 Euro 2012 qualifying
12 7 September 2012 Pasarón, Pontevedra, Spain  Saudi Arabia 3–0 5–0 Friendly
13 11 October 2013 Iberostar Stadium, Palma, Spain  Belarus 1–0 2–1 2014 World Cup qualification

Honours

Barcelona

Spain

Individual

Decorations

See also

References

  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010: List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). 4 June 2010. p. 29. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Xavier Hernández Creus". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 18 August 2012. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Xavi, 150 international games with Barça". fcbarcelona.com. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Is Barcelona star Xavi the best centre midfielder of all time?". Goal.com. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  5. ^ a b "CL Special: Xavi - The Best Centre Midfielder In The World, The Symbol Of Pure Football". Goal.com. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  6. ^ "Does Xavi have the edge over his gifted team-mate Andrés Iniesta?". 
  7. ^ "Xavi Bio, Stats, News - Football / Soccer". Espn Fc. 1980-01-25. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  8. ^ "Xavi emerges as EURO's top man". UEFA. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2009. 
  9. ^ "Xavi – a record title winner". fcbarcelona.com. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Overview: Xavi (25) becomes the Spanish player with most official trophies ever". News-football.net. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  11. ^ a b c "Casillas, Torres & Xavi amongst record-breakers for Spain". Goal.com. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Jordi Quixano, El País. "Euro 2012: Spain – the secrets behind the players". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  13. ^ "barça,partidos 1997/98". Webdelcule.com. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  14. ^ "Pep Guardiola stopped Xavi from joining Bayern Munich in 2008". inside World Soccer. 16 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "UEFA Club Football Awards". UEFA.com. 2011-05-01. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  16. ^ "Spanish La Liga Assists Leaders - 2008-09". Espn Fc. 2009-05-31. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  17. ^ Garganese, Carlo (19 April 2010). "Inter-Barcelona All Time Greatest XI". Goal.com. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  18. ^ "Barcelona Star Lionel Messi Wins The Trofeo Alfredo Di Stefano". Goal.com. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  19. ^ "Xavi extends deal until 2016". FC Barcelona. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  20. ^ "Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta shortlisted for Ballon d'Or". The Guardian. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ "Xavi: "I feel privileged"". FC Barcelona. 2 January 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  23. ^ "Barça has renewed the contracts of Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández and Leo Messi". FC Barcelona Official Website. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "Xavi Hernández features in his 700th official match for FC Barcelona". FC Barcelona Official Website. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  25. ^ "Accurate Forward Half Passes in World Cup Final 2010". FIFA. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  26. ^ "Distance". FIFA. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2011. 
  27. ^ "Players Heat Map". FIFA. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  28. ^ "Spain – Portugal". FIFA. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  29. ^ "Germany – Spain". FIFA. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  30. ^ "Spain's dynamic duo of Xavi and Andres Iniesta have broken the mould proving size doesn't matter". 9 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  31. ^ Lowe, Sid (10 February 2011). "I'm a romantic, says Xavi, heartbeat of Barcelona and Spain". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  32. ^ [2][dead link]
  33. ^ "Left Back In The Changing Room: From Cabbage to Parakeet". Leftbackinthechangingroom.blogspot.com. 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  34. ^ "'Tiki-taka is Xavi's registered trademark'". inside World Soccer. 11 January 2013. 
  35. ^ "Xavi gets married to Núria Cunillera". inside World Soccer. 14 July 2013. 
  36. ^ "Official site statistics". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  37. ^ "Transfermarkt player statistics". Transfermarkt. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  38. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
  39. ^ "Fútbol en la Red". Futbol.sportec.es. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  40. ^ "Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo 2010" (in (Spanish)). Csd.gob.es. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 

External links