Volte-face: After much deliberation, Xavi Hernandez is staying on at Barcelona for one more year.
Though he was offered various lucrative pre-retirement proposals – Qatari club Al Arabi and nascent MLS franchise New York City chief among them – the most decorated Spanish player in history has decided to give it one final shot with Los Cules, after speaking with new boss Luis Enrique.
With Victor Valdes and Carles Puyol leaving, Luis Enrique evidently felt the need to hold onto the last departing member of the old guard, so as not to make such an immediate and radical break from the past.
The news has been met with mixed feelings by Barcelona fans, many of whom, commenting on SPORT’s forum, felt the time was right for Xavi to move on.
Others, though, see it as a positive, giving the pass master a chance to redeem himself after his indifferent last season and poor World Cup, which would allow him to leave on a high, rather than with a whimper.