Barcelona legend Xavi has insisted that his long-time midfield partner Andres Iniesta doesn't look like leaving the club any time soon, noting that he himself carried on until the age of 35 at the Camp Nou.
Iniesta is currently 33 years old, but questions have been asked about his future - which Xavi, in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio ahead of the weekend's Clasico, dismissed out of hand.
"On withdrawing [from top-level football], I think that there is a time when you see it. Andrés does not think he is at this moment, I do not see him changing the situation at the end of the season. He is 33 years old, I went on to 35."
Looking ahead to the potentially decisive match at the Bernabeu on Saturday lunchtime, he said: "I see Saturday's Clasico being very good. The attacking players score goals, they create opportunities, Valverde has given Barcelona confidence, everything is positive. Madrid is not so good but just won the Club World Cup.
"I see Barça with many chances of winning three points, and I would put Madrid out of the race for the league. The league would not be done though, because there is Atlético and Valencia."
Asked if Real have lost some of their hunger, he added: "When you have won so much, you lose attention and lower the bar. Perhaps Madrid has lowered a bit of desire to win but Madrid always competes. Madrid have a winning gene and this Saturday they have a golden opportunity."