Xavi playing for Spain at Euro 2012
|Full name||Xavier Hernández i Creus|
|Date of birth||25 January 1980|
|Place of birth||Terrassa, Spain|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 June 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Xavier "Xavi" Hernández i Creus (Catalan: [ˈ(t)ʃaβi ərˈnandəz i ˈkɾɛws], Spanish: [ˈtʃaβj erˈnandeθ i ˈkɾeus]; born 25 January 1980), is a Spanish footballer who plays as a central midfielder for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national football team.
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 673 matches, scored 80 goals and made more than 180 assists for over 50 players. Xavi is the first player in the FC Barcelona's history to play 150 international matches.
Since making his international debut in 2000, he has been capped 119 times for the Spanish national team, with whom he won the 2010 World Cup, as well as both the 2008 and the 2012 UEFA Euro. He was named Player of the Tournament by UEFA at UEFA Euro 2008. Xavi has won more trophies than any other Spanish player. Xavi has received five Ballon d'Or nominations, and finished in third place in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Xavi has been awarded the IFFHS World's Best Playmaker for 4 years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and he was runner-up to Iniesta in 2012. Xavi has been voted into the UEFA Team of the Year 5 times: 2008, 09, 10, 11, 2012. In 2011, Xavi was runner up to Lionel Messi for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award
Born in Terrassa, Barcelona, Catalonia, 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. Xavi made his way through the youth and reserve teams and was a key member of Jordi Gonzalvo's FC Barcelona B team that won promotion to the Second Division.
His progression through the teams earned him a first team substitute appearance in a friendly match against Southampton on 12 May 1998 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.
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.
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.
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. Xavi was La Liga's highest assisting player with 20 assists. 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 will make him one of the club's biggest earners, and entitle him to €7.5 million a year.
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."
In the 2009–10 season, Xavi again topped the assists table and provided both the assists in Barcelona's 2–0 loss 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. 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.
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. 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 Messi and Andrés Iniesta. He finished third on the vote behind Messi and Iniesta. He narrowly defeated Lionel Messi to win Player of the Year designation from World Soccer Magazine.
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.
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.
On 18 December 2012, it was announced that Barcelona renewed the contract of Xavi, extending it until 30 June 2016. Xavi scored a goal vs Real Madrid in the match that Barcelona won 3–1. Xavi was one of the formation of the year represented by FIFA.In the same month, he celebrated his 31 birthday.
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.
UEFA Euro 2008
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.
Xavi is the conductor
2010 World Cup
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.
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. In the final he covered a distance of almost 15 kilometres.
- 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.
- 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.
UEFA Euro 2012
"Pum, pum, pum" – Xavi describes the sound of the ball moving between him and Iniesta.
- 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 Cup finals. 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.
- As of 26 March 2013
Style of play
The claim that Xavi is one of the best central midfielders of his generation and perhaps all time 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". 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".
- La Liga: 1998–99, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13
- Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12; Runner-up 2010–11
- Supercopa de España: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011; Runner-up 2012
- UEFA Champions League: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11
- UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011; Runner-up 2006
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011; Runner-up 2006
- FIFA World Youth Championship: 1999
- Summer Olympics Silver medal: 2000
- UEFA European Football Championship: 2008, 2012
- FIFA World Cup: 2010
- La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year: 1999
- La Liga Spanish Player of the Year: 2005
- UEFA Euro Player of the Tournament: 2008
- UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 2008, 2012
- IFFHS World's Best Playmaker: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
- FIFA/FIFPro World XI: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- ESM Team of the Year: 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12
- UEFA Team of the Year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match: 2009
- UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year: 2008–09
- La Liga Midfielder of the Year: 2009, 2011
- FIFA Club World Cup Bronze Ball: 2009
- Ballon d'Or Third place: 2009
- FIFA World Player of the Year Third place: 2009
- FIFA Ballon d'Or Third place: 2010, 2011
- Trofeo Alfredo Di Stéfano: 2nd place 2010, 3rd place 2011
- World Soccer Player of the Year: 2010
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2010
- UEFA Best Player in Europe Award Second place: 2011
- FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball: 2011
- Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit: 2010
- Prince of Asturias Award for Sports: 2010, 2012
- "Xavier Hernández Creus". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Xavi, 150 international games with Barça". fcbarcelona.com. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "Xavi emerges as EURO's top man". UEFA. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
- "Xavi – a record title winner". fcbarcelona.com. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- "http://www.webdelcule.com/partidos/pa1997-98.html". Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Garganese, Carlo (19 April 2010). "Inter-Barcelona All Time Greatest XI". Goal.com. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "Barcelona Star Lionel Messi Wins The Trofeo Alfredo Di Stefano". Goal.com. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Xavi extends deal until 2016". FC Barcelona. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- "Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta shortlisted for Ballon d'Or". The Guardian. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- "Xavi: "I feel privileged"". FC Barcelona. 2 January 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- "Barça has renewed the contracts of Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández and Leo Messi". FC Barcelona Official Website. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "Accurate Forward Half Passes in World Cup Final 2010". FIFA. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Distance". FIFA. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- "Players Heat Map". FIFA. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- "Spain – Portugal". FIFA. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "Germany – Spain". FIFA. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- "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.
- "Casillas, Torres & Xavi amongst record-breakers for Spain". Goal.com. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- "Fútbol en la Red". Futbol.sportec.es. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- Lowe, Sid (10 February 2011). "I'm a romantic, says Xavi, heartbeat of Barcelona and Spain". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "Official site statistics". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Transfermarkt player statistics". Transfermarkt. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- Includes other competitive competitions, including the Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
- Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo 2010
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Xavi Hernández|
- FC Barcelona profile
- BDFutbol profile
- National team data
- ESPN profile
- Transfermarkt profile
- 2010 FIFA World Cup profile
- Xavi at National-Football-Teams.com
- Xavi – FIFA competition record
- Xavi – UEFA competition record