UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
Soccer

Xavi close to deal to stay at Barcelona until retirement

Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

Xavi and first-place Barcelona face second-place Atletico Madrid this weekend.

Barcelona midfielder Xavi is close to an agreement on a new contract that will mean he ends his playing career at the La Liga club he joined more than 20 years ago, the Spain international said on Thursday.

Xavi, who will be 33 at the end of next month, enrolled in Barca's youth academy in 1991 at the age of 11 and made his debut for the first team in a Spanish Super Cup match against Real Mallorca in 1998.

Considered one of the finest playmakers of his, or any, generation, he has helped the club win 20 trophies, including three Champions League crowns and six La Liga titles.

He has also been at the heart of Spain's success in recent years, playing a key role in their triumphs at Euro 2008 and 2012 and the 2010 World Cup.

"The two sides didn't take long to reach an agreement and all that remains is to sign the contract," Xavi said at a post-training news conference when asked about the negotiations.

"My dream of seeing out my career at Barca will come true," he added.

"I'm very happy to be able to finish here. If I can still be here at the age of 36 it will be a privilege.

"This is my lifelong club. For the moment I just want to enjoy myself until 2016."

Xavi's current deal runs through 2016 but the final two years are contingent on the number of appearances he makes.

He has already featured in more official matches than any other Barca player, overhauling Migueli's previous club record of 549 in early 2011.

Barca also announced on Thursday they had agreed to extend Spain Under-21 winger Cristian Tello's contract until 2016.

More Soccer

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again